As I listened to Caleb's sermon last Sunday morning, I couldn't help but also think of the art installation we have planned for Grace this fall. Caleb reminded us, that like the prophet Jeremiah, Grace is a church that weeps - we know that about ourselves. Each Sunday morning, the Prayers of the People name the griefs we weep over - lives lost and pain felt in our lives and the lives of our families, our city, our country and around the world. The next art piece at Grace seeks to give tangible and visible form to that grief, to help us visualize the losses we carry while reminding ourselves not only that we carry them together, but that our faith tells us grief is not the end of the story - that we hope for a better and beautiful end, where "weary eyes no more will weep."
The piece itself will be a sort of colorful mosaic of fabric squares, sewn together and affixed to our movable framework. Before the fabric pieces are sewn together, members of our community will select a square (or more) and remove a bit of fabric - just a little shape of some sort cut out of the larger square - to symbolize a loss, which could be a life or a relationship or a hope, whatever it is that we grieve.
Some work that's been influential to this piece is the work of Jim Hodges. His piece Every Touch, is a "meditation on all of the people who brought the sculpture into being by literally touching the piece during the course of its making—from the workers who fabricated the flowers, to the artist and his collaborative team". The dignity that concept affords to the participants is one that feels relevant and useful to our community as we explore this idea of stitching together our sadness-es in the hope that the process and product will manifest a vision of hope itself.
Stay tuned for ways you can be involved in the creation of this piece. Beyond the individual efforts we'll put into modifying the fabric squares, we'll also have opportunities to work together to assemble it, including at the Art Studio Night planned for September 9th. We'd love to hear from you, too, if you have thoughts or ideas about the piece, or are interested in helping with the installation on September 11, weekly set-up, etc.