Icons are not really art that is meant to be hung in galleries or museums. Icons are Church Art that has a liturgical function. Crucially, what icons do, is place the liturgy in context. It is an attempt to make the inside of a church building into something like a reflection of the reality of heaven. Icons cut across all questions of what is current or relevant in Church Art. They are, in modern parlance, supreme examples of conceptual, site specific installation art. Iconography is a language that attempts to convey the eternal now, the eternal present, representing all Gods friends and champions throughout time and history, in the eternal glory of his presence, worshipping along with us the current congregation.
Some Orthodox theologians have referred to the icon simply as, ‘The first fruits of redemption’; they are considered by some to be nothing less than redeemed matter, reflecting both the outpouring of God’s love for his creation and the iconographers reciprocating love for his creator. An offering, in love, of all the material elements of creation, the wood of the tree, the rocks of the earth, eggs from hens, fur from a squirrel, all reverently assembled and offered back to their creator as witness to the icon painters personal willingness to try and help participate in the creation of the New Jerusalem.