Orison

Cone 5 Porcelain Paper Clay

76" x 76" x 1" (dimensions variable)

2022

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This project was made in collaboration with First United Methodist Church in Wichita, KS as part of their Lenten sermon series on prayer. What first drew me to this project was the idea of transformation inherent in the Easter story, and as an artist who works with clay, transformation is built into the process. Clay goes through a hugely transformative process, from a malleable material to one that is enduring - made strong through fire, and reborn into a lasting testament of touch and experience. I saw a connection to the themes of the season in what was happening with the materials in my studio. It was a privilege to lend my creative voice to this Lenten journey with FUMC, and throughout this project, I explored how my studio practice intersects with my own relationship to faith, prayer and meditation.

I believe prayer and meditation are acts that connect us to self, spirit and community. Prayer requires of the participant a contemplative awareness to the present concerns and joys of self and others. Through this project, it was my hope that the practice of prayer, both in writing the original post it notes, then through the collaborative act of transcribing those paper notes onto porcelain post-it notes, would provide an opportunity for the congregation to connect to their community in a new way through holding each other’s thoughts, concerns, joys, and hopes in mind and spirit.

For me, these 40 days in my studio, making, researching and reflecting, engaged the idea of prayer as more than just silent reflection. As Eckhart Tolle suggests, life happens when we’re fully responding to the needs of the present moment whatever that might bring. Both prayer and ceramics require just that – being open to the needs of the moment, whether that manifests through stillness or action. In the final installation, all the prayers collected throughout this Lenten exercise will be displayed together. As viewers engage with the artwork, I hope it creates a moment of stillness to be fully present with the what is on the congregation’s heart.

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