Having grown up in theocentric Greece, from a very early age (or most likely from the moment I was born) I was exposed to religious imagery, namely Byzantine style icons of male and female saints as dictated by the Greek Orthodox Church. I essentially grew up taught or rather encouraged to worship images and more specifically portraits. Even though my immediate family wasn’t terribly religious for Greek standards, my general environment was.
At school, religion class (i.e. Bible class essentially- as God-forbid we weren’t taught about world religions) was required and all meals and days were preceded by a short prayer.As an impressionable child, I went through a deeply religious phase which was contradictive to my questioning nature even then. I became engrossed in the iconography, the thought of communing with God and the goal of religious ecstasy.
Even though my religious fervor is long gone and steadily replaced by a firm belief in agnosticism, I’m still fascinated by religious iconography and more recently gestures employed to communicate with the divine. The clasping of hands in prayer as if completing a circle of feedback is found in many world religions and spiritual practices and as such is ofspecial interest to me. How fascinating is the idea of essentially metaphorically creating a circuit of energy in oneself to communicate with the divine or rather with our ultimately human potential?!