Monday 23 August 2010

Archive - "People, Paper, Prayers" - exhibiton of paper cut prayers 2009

The “People, Paper, Prayers – the Thank You Project” at Central Methodist Church in Letchworth in 2009, grew out of the architectural cut exhibition at First Garden City Heritage Museum. David and Anita Latter (senior members of Central Methodist church) came to see the exhibition on one of the days I was demonstrating. We got chatting animatedly - I had always liked Anita very much, and David too, but it was Anita that I knew from years ago when I took my son and daughter as babies to the Central Methodist Church Tea and Toddlers group. Anita was so friendly there and I was in awe of her commitment to the group by weekly preparing arty/crafty activities for the toddlers and mums to do. It took her a lot of time to prepare the components, to come up with new ideas etc and she did that every week. I admired her faith and generosity of spirit.

Anyway, we got talking. Laughed over times past and children now in teenagerdom (me) and hers in new homes and babies eras. I said that I had always wanted to make some paper pieces for a church. I had made textiles for churches before, but never had my cuts hung in that kind of space. I had tried at St. Hugh’s but they had bought a large icon for the refurbishment and my quirky paper cuts were just too much of a jump I think. 

David and Anita were really interested in the idea of hanging the paper cuts in the church. It needed to be discussed with the main members of the church of course and happily the go ahead was given. I think it helped that the paper cuts are so light. They only need hanging with fishing wire and are very light, needing a drawing pin at most to hang from. We thought the Heritage Open Days Weekend would be a good focus for the event. It was very exciting for me... to see at last my cuts hanging free in a church. I couldn’t wait. I then spent a very large part of August cutting text in the studio in the early morning and the quiet times after the evening meal when the kids were happy to have some telly time.

Finding a theme.....

We needed a theme to work to too. I know I couldn’t make thirty unique prayers and besides I wanted to involve the parish. David’s idea was to have thank you prayers and that fitted perfectly. I emailed friends for prayers, prayers came anonymously too from the congregation as well as very personal ones that moved me hugely. It was much harder than I thought. Look at most prayers and the content is plea based, asking God for something: help, guidance, company, healing or words that allowed inner individual pain to be expressed. This was different, this was saying thank you for what we have been given in our lives. I wanted to say thank you for my children and my family, for the elements. I also wouldn't say I am a Christian. I was brought up a Catholic but have radiated much more to the Church of England. I suppose for me sacred spaces and a portal into our spirituality and that goes for different faiths too - different cultures have different portals but I do believe that it is the same great, creative force.