TOAST Magazine

OAS | FOUR WOMEN - SARAH HISCOX - AN ICON PAINTER

ARTS & CULTURE

OAS is our new collection of workwear-inspired clothing. Our shoot features four women, going about their work, wearing OAS clothes. A potter, a gardener, a gatherer and preserver and an icon painter. This week we speak to the icon painter - Sarah Hiscox.

Sarah Hiscox is an icon painter. She describes an icon as “a drawn prayer,” the process as “God saying a prayer through the artist.” The materials used and the processes followed - from the grinding of the pigments to the final vanishings - are strictly prescribed: technique has blended into ritual, each stage and action imbued with spiritual significance - the whole becoming a deeply opening, meditative exercise. Thus the hushed power of the finished works, their charisma.

What drew you to icon painting?

The power of the icons drew me to them, when I look at them I feel a sense of peace and serenity. It is my form of meditation - in the way that some people do yoga - I gain a real sense of stillness through painting icon paintings.

How did you learn about icon painting?

I discovered more about icon painting through a friend of my dad - Sir Richard Temple. I strongly recommend going to The Temple Gallery. An icon gallery.

I went on to learn icon painting from British iconographer Irina Bradley - a master icon painter.

Sarah wears: Denim Tunic & White Shirt. Lead image Sarah wears: Fine Cord Shirt & Cord Pleat Front Trousers

How important is the history of your subjects?

In order to have a connection with an icon understanding the background helps enormously.  They are a living prayer so it is important that I know why that icon represents that particular prayer.

There is so much to learn as everything has a meaning, from the colours used to the way it is prepared. Icon paintings are made using entirely natural earth and mineral pigments.

What most inspires you, both in your painting and in life in general?

The natural world inspires me, the feeling that we are all connected - whether we are animal, vegetable or mineral, we all breathe the same breath.

For any questions or commissions, you can contact Sarah at [email protected]

The Tactility of Utility is the phrase we took as the precept for our new collection of workwear-inspired clothing. We've named it OAS - three letters, appropriately, at the heart of TOAST and standing for Ordinary Attire Studio. Shop OAS here.

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