Rob Gallacher – the Colour of Prayer

Rob Gallacher, The Colour of Prayer; Contemplating Christian Icons (Blackburn, Victoria: Penfolk, 2020)

Melbourne based icon writer Rev Dr Rob Gallacher has produced this stunning collection of his own work. The author, who began developing his own skills in this art form thirty-five years ago, founded the Otira Icon School, later known as the Uniting Church Icon Schools, in 1995. He has also travelled extensively in the Eastern European and Middle-Eastern homelands of the icon as a distinctive form of Christian art. The Book, The Colour of Prayer, was to be launched in late April, but this had to be postponed because of the lockdown. In the meantime the author has made his book available following a ‘soft launch’ on the internet, with a proper book launch to follow, hopefully in September.

The book contains reproductions of thirty-nine icons in brilliant colour, beautifully photographed by Michael Shirrefs, each accompanied by two sets of text: an explanation of the icon in the context of biblical story behind it; and a contemplative reflection on the scene depicted. The contemplation is invariably completed with an excerpt from a hymn from Together in Song, an element that ties the foreignness, to western eyes, of the icon art form with the familiarity, to western ears, of the hymnal. The book is thus more than simply and exhibition of Rob Gallacher’s impressive and skillfully executed body of work – it is also, and more importantly, offered as an aid to prayer.  Whether or not you are already familiar with the place of icons in Christian art and prayer life, this book will lead you to see some of the Gospel narratives with new insight; whether or not you already make use of icons in your prayer life, this book will deepen your approach to prayer.

 Rev. Dr. Duncan Reid.

If you would like to order a copy and haven’t received the details directly, email the minister to have your request forwarded: