Monday, April 25, 2011

"The Threads of St. Mary's"

This is a banner that I designed and constructed in honour of the 100th Anniversary of St. Mary's Church, Sorrento, BC. It was dedicated on Easter Sunday, 2011.

Prior to the construction of this banner, parishioners and former parishioners were invited to donate a "thread" to be incorporated into the banner . . . some of these threads were as fine as a piece of sewing thread or fishing line, others were heavier pieces of rope and leather, while still other pieces were yarns or ribbons remaining from significant projects. Some threads were utilitarian while others were decorative. Pieces of each thread were incorporated into the cross on the banner, with some of the threads being clipped into pieces to form the foundation under the longer ripples of thread on the surface. In some cases, several threads were twisted together and then stitched with yet another thread to create a heavier cord to use on the surface. The cross itself has an aspect of the tree of life, with roots in many parts of the community. There are a few beads on the banner that accentuate the sky, hills and the cross itself. The banner measures 31" x 44".

The background of the banner has been pieced from a selection of hand-dyed fabrics and has been designed to represent the Sorrento area . . . the beautiful hills, mountains, lake, forests and fields. It has been quilted in free-motion designs to accent each component and many of the sections have been hand-embroidered with textural stitches that enhance the overall design. Light seems to filter down onto the hills and the lake from the cross. (I have included a smaller photo of the banner here that is darker in colour (perhaps closer to the true colours in the banner...all these photos still need work -- what else is new!)

The reverse side of the banner has the lettering for St. Mary's, Sorrento, so that when used as a processional banner, the name of the church will be visible after the banner passes the observer. The lettering is created from fabric that I hand-painted in a strong turquoise blue. A swag of additional threads can be looped onto the reverse side when it is used as a processional banner. . . I forgot to take a photo of the reverse of the banner with the swag of threads, so I'll add one later.

St. Mary's is a beautiful small church located right on the Trans Canada Highway and close to Shuswap Lake. The church started life as a log structure in 1911, built by the Anglican community; it has been a shared ministry between the Anglican and United Church community for the past forty years.