Doctor to be an icon for St Albans Organ Festival

PUBLISHED: 11:19 25 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:11 06 May 2010

FORMER Harpenden GP, Dr Derek Bird will be exhibiting a rare talent at St Albans Abbey next month – his skill as a painter of religious icons. The exhibition, being staged as part of the International Organ Festival at St Albans, will feature more than 25

FORMER Harpenden GP, Dr Derek Bird will be exhibiting a rare talent at St Albans Abbey next month - his skill as a painter of religious icons.

The exhibition, being staged as part of the International Organ Festival at St Albans, will feature more than 25 of the works he has created over the past 17 years.

Dr Bird became interested in the art form while on a holiday to Cyprus.

He said: "At first I did not really like icons but my wife, Barbara, bought me a book on how to paint them and it started from there."

He explained that the creation of an icon followed a strict set of rules with every colour and even individual lines having special significance.

The centrepiece of the exhibition will be an icon of St Peter which has been specially commissioned to mark the International Organ Festival's 25th festival. All the works are for sale and a proportion will be donated to the festival.

In addition to the exhibition of icons there will also be an exhibition of small pipe organs in the North Transept of the Abbey.

This has been a feature of the festival since the first event in 1963. One of the exhibitors at the first festival was Flentrop Orgelbau from Holland. The company will once more be joining other leading builders at the exhibition where there will be workshops head by Dr William McVicar, curator of the Royal Festival Hall Organ. The organs will be played by students from the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music.

The festival runs from July 9 to 18 and more information is available at www.organfestival.com


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