Kerk Binnenstebuiten, Sept 2023
Blind Walls Gallery
Latex on panel
425 x 125 cm
Photography by Rosa Meininger
So for church inside out, I painted two panels that will hang in public spaces.
Before I started this assignment, I was given a tour of the main church.
During this tour, I got information about the symbolism, stories and architecture of the big church.
What struck me during this tour was why and how the church was built in that location. This is because the church is built in such a way that on the left side sunlight never enters, because that is where the graves are and because has to do with death and life is all over, so no sunlight should shine on that spot.
On the right side of the church, on the contrary, you have lots of sunlight coming in and there you can also find symbols referring to life.
This is how I came up with the idea to paint the left panel in somewhat darker colors and use symbols that have to do with death. The right panel should then be painted in some lighter colors with symbols referring to life.
In the church, on the left side at many graves, you could see a statue of a dog at the end of the feet of the person buried. The dog would guide you to death. You could also see extinguished candles on some tombstones, also symbolizing the end.
So I came to the idea of painting a large dog extinguishing a candle with its own drool.
On the right side I saw a statue of St. Lucia, she is patron saint of all the blind, visually impaired, opticians and prostitutes. Actually, she was patron saint of all people who are vulnerable.
She is often depicted with a dagger through her neck and for these reasons I painted a large baptismal bowl with many eyeballs that also look a bit like sperm cells. From the bowl comes a stem of a flower where Lucia's face is like the flower.
Grote Kerk writes:
"Artist Kelly Christogiannis is currently working on two panels for Inside Out. This completes Church Inside Outside. This is a joint project of Blind Walls Gallery and the Grote Kerk Breda in which creative makers take their inspiration from the rich interior of the church and create paintings on panels that are attached to the building fence. This construction fence decorates the exterior facade of the church until 2027 because of the restoration of the ambulatory - the part of the church adjacent to the Grote Markt.
During this month, Christogiannis panels including an explanation of her inspiration for the paintings will be on display to the right on the building fence."