Edinburgh church's new art installation focuses on 'hope and renewal' as Covid restrictions ease
A new art installation has opened at an Edinburgh church, reflecting themes of “hope and renewal” as Covid restrictions ease.
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“Hope Glimmers” is comprised of 126, eight-foot high bamboo canes, each wrapped with a band of imitation gold leaf, which have been planted in two fan shapes in the garden at Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church.
The gradually increased spacing of the canes hints at the experience of moving from the tight constraints of lockdown towards the wider possibilities of the “new normal”.
The installation, described as a “visual meditation” consists of two sections of canes – one orientated towards the church and the other towards the street – which seek to “unite people in glimpses of God’s presence and glimmers of hope”.
It is the work of visual artists Gardner & Gardner – the Rev Peter Gardner, who is the Church of Scotland’s minister to the visual arts communities of Glasgow, and his wife and artistic partner Heidi.
The Rev Dr Sandy Forsyth, minister of Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church, approached them with the idea of installing some type of art in the church garden that would help the church and the community to reflect together.
He said: “Earlier this year I was thinking that as a church and a community we ought to mark the emergence from lockdown in a way that would help us look ahead with hope.
“I have known Peter and Heidi for many years and I am delighted with what they have done.
“We have an installation that people can view on their own terms, they can walk past and glance at it or they can linger and think about it more deeply.
“I hope people will stop and reflect, remember what we have all been through but also look forward in hope, thinking too about how faith might interact with a potential future.”
Mr Gardner who has worked with his wife on many thought-provoking installations over the years, said he hoped the Mayfield Salisbury artwork would help people reflect on the shared experience of emerging from lockdown and communicate a glimmer of hope for the future.
“Heidi and I hope this piece will help people to remember that the church building is open and as they walk past they will catch something of the hope that is expressed in this piece.
“It took two days to install and while we were doing it, many local folk stopped to chat and expressed an interest in the piece and the concept behind it.
“The gold leaf is a traditional material used by church icon painters and expresses something of the divine, the presence of God, and our hope is the canes will have a similar resonance.”
People can find out more about the art work by using a smart phone to scan a QR code on a sign fastened to a tree which will take them to the church’s website.
They are also invited to take part in a free online “Meet the Artists” event on June 20.
Hope Glimmers will be in place on the West Mayfield side of the building until June 28.