icons \ sacred silence

Janet Meester (NL), Wahida Azhari (DE), Badri GubiaNuri (GE/UA)

‘Sacred silence’ is an exhibition initiated by Badri Gubianuri (UA) and Wahida Azhari (DE). They invited Janet Meester (NL) to take part. The three artists have in common their philosophical and spiritual approach to the meaning of the art-object. They investigate the way in which the work of art - which is just matter and form - evokes something that goes beyond matter and form: silence, emptiness; not to be touched, not to be captured into words, yet present and to be experienced by the observer.

With this exhibition the initiators intend to create a platform for discussion about art and philosophy, spirituality and religion.

Personal Texts:


“ My work is essentially about emptiness and form, and their relationship to each other. The form is brought to its essence. It is about finding the line which I feel to be ‘sacred', sublime. The emptiness creates the form – the form determines the emptiness.

What is emptiness? This phenomenon of emptiness is known to mystics of all religions: it is the empty space in which perception takes place. In Judaism it is the perception of the One whose name is so sacred that it is never spoken. The Christian mystics describe this experience of the ‘soul' in their writings. In Islam, the mystical experiences speak of the ‘fana'. In Buddhism, there is the concept of ‘nirvana’ and what comes after nirvana.

It is this that I seek in my art; I reflect on that which I experience in meditation. I feel that there is a connection; emptiness seems to be a precondition for the experience of the divine. Perhaps only through the void - in our soul - does the divine become perceptible. Emptiness is not nothing, it is sacred. 

My work is not a matter of formalism. It is about transcendence. In the end I am looking for the structure which transcends and thereby redefines the coordinates of real space and the inner space of the observer. He is emancipated and free to have experiences of his own - with himself, with form and with emptiness. ”

Wahida Azhari



“ My visual work is an investigation into the intensity of silence. I this regard I do not view my paintings as representations, but just as presences, occupying a place in space. In my work I strive for the greatest possible simplicity and purity, not as a goal in itself, but as a consequence of the desire to touch upon an essence while working. I discover this essence the moment the works have received a ‘soul’.

I prefer to present my work in installations, where rhythm, repetition and the flow of space are basic elements. A tranquil, timeless world results. The observer is invited to enter this world and to personally relate to it. Perceiving the work now becomes a matter of ‘seeing and being seen’. 

It is this interaction between the observer, the work and the space, that creates the connection between deep silence and bare humanity. ”

Janet Meester



" My work is about openness and incompleteness.

Openness, equally, is incompleteness.

Incompleteness, equally, is openness.

In openness is life itself in an infinite understanding.

Infinity, equally, is great silence.

Great silence, equally, is great beauty. ”

Badri Gubianuri


'Icons\Sacred Silence' on facebook.

Partners: Mikhail Bulgakov Museum.

Media partners: In Kyiv

Mikhail Bulgakov museum

Andreevskiy Descent, 13

Kiev, Ukraine.

Opening April 22th, 7-9 pm.

On view through May 20th.

Open hours: 10am–6pm. 

Closed - Wednesdays.

All photos ©KNO

Exhibition views.

Wahida Azhari, Badri GubiaNuri

Wahida Azhari

untitled, 2006

acrylic on cotton on wood


Badri GubiaNuri, Janet Meester

Badri GubiaNuri

untitled, 2018

oil, acrylic, canvas


Janet Meester

Janet Meester

untitled, 2016

oil on linen on mdf

20x20x0.4cm each