Arts Forest Church

Forest Lanterns

Forest Church and Light in the darkness

We have spent a year getting to know the Crichton estate now. Those of us who have met each month certainly have a better feel for the place, and we have got to know each other better too.

We didn’t exclusively meet on the estate, and so this video review has other locations in it. It should be possible to watch the cycle of the seasons as the trees adapt to the change in climate, and perhaps even get a sense of how the weather has affected what we do.

The Crichton is hardly a wilderness, and we haven’t undertaken this adventure unequipped or prepared. Even with this gentle adventure though we have discovered more than can be described (by me at least) in words.

Part of our reflection on the year has therefore been to produce some visual art. This has been done collaboratively and experimentally. We set out to create a lantern exploring themes of harvest and light, as well as the idea that seeds need to fall into the ground and die before they can grow. Our original plan of multiple lanterns and shadow cut outs did not survive a combination of October holidays and volunteer availability – (those ideas are seeds in storage now)- however we did manage to make one large lantern as an inspirational piece.

We used dried and pressed leaves, captured between layers of tissue paper, to decorate a translucent trunk. When a light is placed inside the trunk it shines through the opening words of psalm 19, and the leaves. The idea being that as you gaze through the leaves, you can contemplate the ways in which the light comes into the world and can be recognised. This lantern was hung in the building when we gathered one evening for an “Interweave”. The plan for the evening is described here . We enjoyed a soundtrack of ambient music put together for us by Alec Brooke which has also been used in the video above. Some pictures of the process and finished lanterns follow.

Here is the large lantern when it was hung in the St Johns building. It is hanging lower than intended in these photos so that it could have leaves added to it.

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