GOD IS EROS
Sister Anastasia of Jesus
Sister Anastasia of Jesus was born in Rome in 1959.
She began travelling at the age of 14; then aged 15 she enrolled at the Ecòle Superieure d’Art Graphique Met De Penninghen in Paris.
She dropped out of the Academy one year before finishing.
Between 1978 and 1991, she worked in the field of fashion and design; she drew and created collections of clothes, bags, jewels, upholstery, lampshades, furniture and gift items.
She continued to travel and live in various countries over the world.
1991 was the year of her conversion to Christianity; after this she abandoned design and in 1992 began to paint icons under the wing of various artists: Giovanni Mezzalira, Fabio Nones and over the past three years with the greatest living iconographer: Orthodox Russian priest Andrej Davidov.
She painted icons for nine years; in February 2001 she began to paint freely with acrylic paints.
In 1992, she devoted herself completely to God; she became a hermit nun living in a hermitage in the city of Rome where she prays and works in uttermost solitude alternating rock and silence.
Exhibits and exhibitions
September 2003 – Siena, Italy - Ponte All’Arco Gallery
September 2003 – Assisi, Italy - Spazio D’Arte
March 2004 . Monte Carlo - Monaco, Espace Fontvielle
Edition I . Art Expo Montecarlo 2004 – International Exhibition of Modern and Contemporary Art
March 2004 – Milan, Italy. Santabarbara Contemporary Art
Personal Exhibit – “The Soul and scream.”
May 2004 – Milan, Italy. Studio Lombardi
July 2004 – Genoa, Italy. Starhotel President
Riparte 2004 – X International Contemporary Art Exhibition – 1st edition of Genoa, Italy.
November 2004, Rome, Italy, Ripa All Suites Hotel
Riparte 2004, X International Contemporary Art Exhibition
August 2005, Tellaro (La Spezia, Italy) Battistelli Artistic and Cultural Centre
Personal Exhibit, “Recent work”
Autumn 2005 – Florence, Italy Michelangelo Hotel
April 2006 – Lovere (Bergamo, Italy) Ancient Church of Saint Clare (Santa Chiara)
Personal Exhibit “The Soul and scream” – Sister Anastasia of Jesus (recent works)
IN MEMORY OF FRANCES
I KNOW OF A VIETNAMESE MAN WHO SET HIMSELF ON FIRE BECAUSE IT WAS HIS ONLY FREEDOM.
I KNOW OF AN AMERICAN LAWYER WHO IS IN JAIL IN VIETNAM BECAUSE OF HIS LOVE OF JUSTICE AND FREEDOM.
IN MOROCCO, THE FIRST THING THEY DO WHEN THEY PUT YOU IN JAIL IS TO DEPRIVE YOU OF LIGHT. IF YOU EVER GET OUT, YOU ARE BLIND.
SO MANY PEOPLE WANT TO CUT YOUR WINGS BECAUSE THEY DON’T FLY.
THE LORD HAS MADE ME INDOMITABLE BY EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING.
OUR LOVE, MY OWN AND THAT OF LORD JESUS, IS INDESTRUCTIBLE.
HE IS MY SAVIOUR! MY GO’EL!
FOREVER THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST!
I REMEMBER A FILM WHICH MADE AN IMPRESSION ON ME:
FRANCES WITH JESSICA LANGE.
“Sister Anastasia of Jesus is a hermit; her whole life is dedicated to constant prayer which is barely distinguishable from her paintings. In this indivisible blend of prayer and art which is the fabric of her existence there is space for nothing else but God. Her God, who is all-absorbing, who starts and ends life giving joy only when the soul is ready to abandon itself totally to Him. In this abandonment God can be naught else than a devouring, blazing flame. And it is within the space of this fire that Sister Anastasia of Jesus’ art advances; it is the space of a soul which, touched by God, becomes itself a flame, a consuming fire which incinerates anything coming between it and its God until it turns into a Godhead itself, a Christ figure. A form of art, therefore, which does not deny figurativeness but which tears it down from the centre out. Sister Anastasia does not work on a canvas containing form, but, rather, she literally makes it burst out in a triumph of colour devoid of shadow in sheer chromatic exultation using the entire solar spectrum at its zenith of plenitude and light. This is what Sister Anastasia has learnt from the Byzantine icon traditions to which she is faithful, if not literally, then in spirit. Her paintings recapture the entire Byzantine iconographic repertoire revamping the codified motifs against a free, unconventional background based on choices of colour and shape in which her bodies and figures lose their immobility and creating an authentic visual and physical vortex which makes an almost unbearable impact on the viewer’s eyes causing the mind to quake. This is the space of a soul literally touched by God, possessed by Him both in heart and body. Sister Anastasia’s work, like the icons, represents a threshold between mortals and the Divine, spirit and material, invisible and visible, encapsulated in a moving circle where two ends chase each other’s tails without ever managing to shatter their unhampered but disquieting bonds.
Researcher in esthetics at the Faculty of Educational Sciences – University of Florence, Italy.
Scholar in Russian and Byzantine Iconography