Altars & Prayer Objects

An altar in its simplest form is a table where a meal is served, or where a book is read, however holy. The image here is of a humble table hewn from a live tree and draped (civilized) with a simple cloth. Honey-colored ash and oak seem to fold over the edge of the slab. Cracks in the eucalyptus trunk are mended with keys made from the same wood. The legs remind us of the shape of telescopes, the dimensions of their segments generated from natural geometry.

Prayer wall - A grid of 962 numbered squares is etched into a white panel just over 9' tall and 6' wide. Before it on a small desk is a stack of 962 3x3" cards, each front a single color, and printed with a unique letter and number combination corresponding to one of the squares of the grid. With a pen provided, visitors handwrite a prayer on the back of a card and then affix it to the correspondingly numbered square on the panel. Eventually, when each of the cards has been filled with a prayer and hung on the panel, a pixelated iconic image of Jesus Christ appears, made of the amalgamated prayers of the visitors to the chapel.

The metaphor is a useful one to Christians: that Christ appears in the collective prayers of those worshipping, appearing as part and parcel of the many voices that ask His help. He is there in every small still voice, even if one cannot discern the overall pattern. And He is there to be seen when all those voices are added together but their individual words are lost in the thrum.

This sculptural form can be adapted to suit the prayer needs of congregations of many different religions by using an image, graphic and or text that meets their needs, without losing its central metaphor, and physical impact.