Hesychia
Raewyn Whaley
Collection: DUST 1.3

oil on canvas
1400 x 730mm
image copyright R.Whaley

Hesychia evokes the prayer traditions in the Eastern Orthodox church.
Hesychastic prayer is in the tradition of apophatic prayer of interior consciousness, a withdrawal into the inward mind and emotion. Here the mind acquires an inner stillness.

This tradition has an ancient history, ranging from Hesykhia the Greek goddess of stillness, to the desert fathers, the Byzantine, Greek and Russian Orthodox churches. Western mystics Meister Eckhart, Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen drew deeply from this source.

In 2006 I visited Yaroslavl Cathedral in Russia. It seemed that Russia’s recent history of iconoclasm had never been. The cathedral, now reclaimed was loaded in ancient meaning. Silence resonated as prayer chants came to rest.

In Hesychia my intent is to suggest the descent into the stillness of hesychastic prayer, where it may even be possible to imagine the sounds of the cathedral echoes.



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Hesychia