Fr Justin Venn
Fr Justin is an Orthodox priest and iconographer from South Africa who now lives in the United Kingdom.
He spent several years travelling Europe after finishing school, during which time he became acquainted with the Orthodox Church and traditional iconography.
Although he longed to return to South Africa, he was also keen to learn the true craft of icon painting.
There was no formal course or detailed training available in the West at the time, so he connected himself to a French iconographer, Fr Jean-baptiste Garrigou, who was a direct and long-time disciple of Archimandrite Zenon.
Although he would have liked to spend more time with him, circumstances kept them apart; yet, the building bricks he gave him have served him well ever since.
Following him, he spent a year in a French monastery learning to paint with some of the monks there.
When he felt sufficiently formed to fend for himself, he went to South Africa and founded "Studio Sanctus," a company that creates icons and frescoes for local clients and churches.
Despite the fact that his practice grew back home, my family and he felt forced to leave South Africa for a variety of reasons.
He now lives in England, near Liverpool, with his wife and two children, where he continues to serve as both a priest and an iconographer.