Sailing to Byzantium (Art Exhibition) - Community Noticeboard - 96five Family Radio

Sailing to Byzantium (Art Exhibition)

‘Sailing to Byzantium’ is an exhibition that blends the sacred art of the Early Renaissance and Byzantine periods with themes from William Butler Yeats’ poem. The exhibition title comes from W.B. Yeats’ poem Sailing to Byzantium, which speaks of the quest for eternal beauty and spiritual transcendence. In the poem, Byzantium symbolizes an ideal world of artistic and intellectual perfection, a place where the soul finds peace beyond the physical. This idea connects deeply with the spiritual essence of Early Christian art, where every detail holds profound religious meaning.

The Opening Night of ‘Sailing to Byzantium’ is on Thursday 11th July from 6.30pm to 8.30pm at St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane CBD. There will be live music classical performed by two local and exceptionally talented musicians (piano and soprano).

About the Artist:

Olga Bakhtina is a Brisbane artist working in oil and charcoal. She studied painting 15 years ago in the Sultanate of Oman while living there with her family for 4 years. Currently, she studies the History of Art at the University of Queensland. She has a passion for Early Renaissance art in which she finds serenity and inspiration.

Since her first solo exhibition in 2012 in Oman, Olga has been exhibiting regularly across Australia. Her latest solo exhibitions were:

– “Good Samaritan and other Biblical Stories” in St John’s Anglican Cathedral, Brisbane CBD in July 2023

– “Olive Branch” an exhibition in November 2023 as part of the 150th Anniversary celebration of the Cathedral of St Stephen, Brisbane CBD.

Olga has been the finalist and winner of multiple Australian Art awards, including COSSAG (Cathedral of Saint Stephen Art Group) Award in 2016 and 2018.

Olga’s Work

Olga’s artworks are in the collections of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, the Australian Catholic University, Rosebank College, NSW; St Anselm Abbey, New Hampshire, the US; as well as in various private international collections.

Olga’s work has been published in various publications worldwide, such as ‘The Double: Identity and Difference in Art since 1900’ by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. in the United States. ‘Good Samaritan’, 2016, has been published by the Cengage Learning Australia in the High School Study book for Humanities subjects.

In 2022 the Archdiocese of Brisbane created a video series titled “Art Aficionados”, in the 3rd episode of the series Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Australian Catholic University’s Dr Maeve Louise Heaney VDMF and Director of Liturgy Brisbane’s Rev Dr Tom Elich analysed the ‘Good Samaritan’, one of three Olga’s three paintings in their collection.

What Olga says about the exhibition:

“I’m often asked why I paint Bible scenes. There are a few reasons, but the most important reason is that my paintings are not just about the Bible. These works are about humanity and what comes with it – the beautiful things in life like love and unexpected kindness, devotion, and sacrifice. But humanity also brings pain and tragedy – betrayal, greed, cruelty, and war. Has anything really changed since the Bible was written?

Nowadays it seems that the world is collapsing back to Biblical times, as if there is a crack in civilisation: on one hand, there is humanism and advanced technologies, which Joshua, who stopped the sun in the Old Testimony, did not dream of. On the other hand, there remains a lot of hate and barbarism which we see around the world way too frequently. Sometimes it feels like as if we’re flipping through the Bible and checking it with our reality.

I think we can all relate to the Biblical stories and lessons, in one way or another. The Bible has lots of answers. My Biblical works are my attempts to find them, to process what is happening in the world, and in my own life. They are my prayers, too. Someone once said that art is the highest form of hope.”

The exhibition runs from 29th June to 13th August 2024 at St John’s Anglican Cathedral

Event Details

Organisation: St John's Anglican Cathedral

Contact: Olga Bakhtina

Email Address: [email protected]

Location: St John's Anglican Cathedral


Phone Number: 0410 197 946

Date: 6:30PM - 8:30PM between Saturday 29th June 2024 and Tuesday 13th August 2024