Irmina SANTAIKA began learning the Fundamental Arts at the Vilnius Justinas Vienozinskis Art School, class of R.Vaitekunas.
Later, Santaika moved to Switzerland where she studied Ceramic and Pottery under Anne-Chantal Pitteloud at Sion and Oil Painting under Ghislaine Varone at Saviese. Her introduction to Sculpture began with a Wood Carving & Sculpture class in Sierre, Switzerland.
Irmina now lives in the US, and mainly works in aquarelle pencils, oil and acrylic, often with collage and other mixed media, and she finds inspiration from a wide range of subject matter. However, she maintains that the real subject of her paintings is the movement of color and light.
Many of her creations are owned by private art collectors in Poland, Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, US and Lithuania.
Byzantine Icons are her main focus. The work involves more than just artistic skill, as it is also a creation of prayer and meditation that incorporates healing energy into each Byzantine Icon.Irmina Santaika Artmajeur Gallery
The Byzantine Icon is intended as a means of contemplation and prayer. Standing in front of the Byzantine Icon, one must be willing to enter into a process of repentance, something that can be painful. Seeing the Byzantine Icon for what it is brings us into the realization of the state of brokenness we are in and our alienation from GOD. Contemplating the Icon requires repentance, which is a conversion from self-destruction to life. If we contemplate the Byzantine Icon in silence we will enter a state of sorrow and joy.
Sorrow, for we realize the poor state of our spiritual life and the need for change. As we establish a relationship with the Byzantine Icon, we then perceive with our minds and senses how the inner light of the Byzantine Icon exposes the inner darkness of our souls. We are then encouraged to enter that light. Once we come to this understanding we enter the joy of the Resurrection. This joy comes to us when we no longer live for ourselves but are willing and ready to give up our lives for our neighbor, when we are ready to say with St. Paul: “…It is no longer I who live but, Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20).
In the presence of a good Byzantine Icon we move from contemplation to prayer. In fact it is said that a good Icon is one that inspires prayer. Prayer requires asceticism. Prayerful asceticism becomes a healing process in which whatever has estranged us from GOD is transformed into becoming a means of communion with GOD. The mind, soul, heart, body and will of the person who prays becomes still, attentive, attuned, and peaceful, constantly receptive to the presence of GOD.
As we pray before an Icon we enter in communion with the Byzantine Icon’s prototype. This becomes the fulfillment of Christ’s prayer: “so that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in us…” (Jn 17:21). St. Isaac the Syrian describes the person who prays as one who possesses uncontainable love and intense compassion. Such a person’s heart is aflame for all creation, for man, birds, animals, demons and all creatures. The Byzantine Icon and the one who enters the reality depicted in the Icon witness the eradication of evil that has infected man’s achievements. To the ascetic who prays, the Byzantine Icon communicates the meaning of life. Matter and Spirit, heaven and earth, are both united in the Icon and in the one who has entered the reality it communicates. Already in the present, they begin to manifest the future of creation in which GOD will be all in all.