21Country: Trinity English Lutheran Church art

21Alive News at 5
Published: Jul. 14, 2023 at 10:34 AM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - A fresh revelation has come to Fort Wayne’s Trinity English Lutheran Church.

Among the pews and stained glass are rows of religious icons, sacred objects in Eastern Orthodox Churches, used by the faithful to connect with the spiritual world.

They’re also the basis of a huge art exhibition, 190 pieces, that fills this huge church, from every corner to every hallway and room.

The artist behind the work is Ludmila Pawlowska, born in the former Soviet Union with deep ties to Ukraine. A family tragedy 23 years ago brought on a personal crisis. She found comfort among icons of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Pawlowska creates art inspired by those by those traditional icons meant to usher peace and hope into the world. She uses thick layers of paint, gold and silver leaf, rusted metal, and found objects to create work that honors the spirituality she says she found.

One of her pieces is a protest against war, rows of bullets raming a destroyed village; among the ruins shines a revelation of hope.

Another piece displays a flag of Ukraine, the fabric torn by war, waiting to be stitched back together.

The vast triptych dominates the church’s foyer, its centerpiece a beautiful three-dimensional cross. It could be Christ, a crown of thorns on his head, or not, but the artists say the piece is whatever the viewer believes it is.

Pawlowska has taken her celebration of spirit to churches across the nation, and each has happily rearranged its sanctuaries and meeting rooms to accommodate her work.

The message is quite simple: whether you are a believer or not, there is something greater in the universe than everything and everyone on this earth, something with the power to mend fractured souls and make us believe that something, somewhere, wishes us well.

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