Phaedra's latest liturgical art commission


This past weekend, Church of the Apostles in Raleigh, NC, installed a pair of artworks that Phaedra had made on their behalf. Two 4'X10' banners hang on the wall behind the chancel (the front of the sanctuary), while at the back of the church hang two 2.5'X3.5' encaustic paintings. I've included here a few photos I took along with excerpts from a statement which Phaedra wrote for the congregation. This commissioned work represents the church's maiden venture into the world of liturgical art, and I say God bless them for taking the risk.















ABOUT THESE ARTWORKS 

Church of the Apostles commissioned local artist, Phaedra Taylor, to create two paintings and the twin banners that hang to either side of the cross to celebrate the season of Easter 2013. Months prior to their hanging, congregants were asked to write out prayers on gold leaf-shaped paper pieces; these prayers echoed the longings of the church....

All the prayer leaves were embedded in multiple layers of wax along with oil paint and oil pastels in gold, red, and white. Scriptures from the book of Ephesians and the Psalter, which the church leadership has regularly prayed on behalf of the congregation, were also written into both paintings and scraped out or covered up as the layers continued to be applied....

By encasing the over 550 prayer leaves in wax, the hope was to provide an image of how Jesus gathers together the cries of our hearts, lifting them up to His Father, offering prayers for us continually, even as the Spirit himself intercedes us night and day....

Sections of the paintings are covered with additional layers of wax, making them largely opaque.... Only specific parts can be seen in the finished paintings. This is designed to evoke the notion, that whether we see it or consciously know it, the prayers of the pastoral staff are, as it were, alive and at large, just as much as the prayers of Christ and the Holy Spirit are alive and at large, effective even if hidden from our perception.

A small section of the paintings, including three gold squares, was blown up and printed onto fabric which was then made into the banners framing the cross. This image symbolically evokes the Trinity and is intended to remind the church not only of the proper object of Christian worship but also of the Divine Persons who inspire, sustain and complete our corporate worship....


Comments

Michael Carter said…
Beautiful in concept and execution! The notion of suspending the 'seen' with the 'unseen', unbeknownst to some viewers, is profound. A friend of mine 'hides' scripture between the layers of her digital images in Photoshop.
That's great, Michael. I love the notion too, and I think it's probably more common in the visual arts than we might consciously acknowledge.
Such a delightful community to work with, and such a great blog write up from you. Thank you babe!
I am happily your biggest fan and proud of you.
Matt Oakes said…
These are tremendous!!!
Tamara Murphy said…
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!
Jennifer said…
This comment has been removed by the author.

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