Graced with Light (fiber installation by Anne Patterson)
I love this piece. Religious architecture has always fascinated me. Each structure is approaching the idea of “what is our relationship to the divine/greater universe? Cathedrals tend to tell us that we are tiny in a huge majestic, beautiful world (which is really true in a way). They also have a hierarchy built into them (distance from altar, height, etc.). A Quaker meeting house will reflect the relationship between people and the beauty in simplicity and the small scale of the day-to-day. They tend to have equality built into them- central arrangement, all on same level or very close, etc.
**A pause for reference, I have a BA in the History of Religions, so I use religious terms the members of each religion themselves use in a sociological/historical way, not as a member of that religion.**
As a space to do art in- to add a layer to these kinds of structures in fantastic. Ann Paterson’s piece works amazingly with both the space and the community. The colors of the ribbons mimic the colors in the stained glass windows and the filtered light through them. The shape suggests both rain and rays of light- a shower from heaven in this case. The red ribbons have prayers written on them from members of the congregation and community. A congregation member explained them to me as visualized prayers going upwards from them to heaven.
If you told me I had blacked out for a year and this piece was mine I would totally believe you (if you convinced me they didn’t mind me not sharing their faith). It has some overlap with Dream blanket (where participants are writing their dreams/hopes on stripes of wool fabric). I love this piece.
I came in the late afternoon, when the light was fading and coming sideways into the space, staining the pillars with colored light, making the ribbons seem even more like rain as they broke up within that light. Exquisite.
I reminded me of the Rain Room project, except that instead of the rain falling around you and failing to hit, it was suspended above you.
It makes me want to hang even more things from the ceiling, and to incorporate more hanging fiber into the embroidery project for my thesis piece.