Saint Joseph's Church
St. Joseph's Ukrainian Catholic Parish was founded by Father Joseph Denischuk CSsR in 1952. As one of fifteen Ukrainian churches in Winnipeg, St. Joseph's belongs to a rich and faithful Ukrainian culture and tradition found in Western Canada.
Our studio was commissioned to introduce sacred artwork into a space devoid of any religious imagery. The designs created were dictated by the architecture of the church and serve to highlight the structure as well as the Holy Liturgy.
We chose the Feast of the Nativity for the largest stained glass composition because the entire wall consisted of glass panels. The new composition depicts the Nativity of Jesus in its traditional understanding according to Eastern Iconography. The design powerfully portrays the Heavenly Kingdom penetrating the earthly Cosmos, pointing to the Star of Bethlehem which, in turns, directs the viewer to the Infant Jesus.
The iconostasis we designed for St. Joseph's unifies two conflicting traditions: the old tradition of the iconostasis as a wall of icons and the new tradition of fourth-generation Ukrainian-Catholics who resisted the idea of the iconostasis in a church.
We were able to maintain a level of transparency in the iconostasis by incorporating by incorporating sandblasted glass panels in the design so that both the clergy of the old tradition and the lay-people of the newer tradition were pleased with the design.
The icons in the iconostasis were written using the medium of egg-yolk tempera. Each panel was first prepared by hand with multiple layers of gesso which were then sanded to a smooth finish. Pigments are then mixed with egg-yolk and water, and carefully layered to create to create the final icon.