A short introduction by Jacqui Hicks
The term installation is sometimes applied to permanent, site-specific, sculptural ensembles created for corporate or public settings. But it also applies to short term displays that are larger and more unusual than the worship display created for a prayer focus in a Sunday or weekday service as installations take a little longer to 'install'.
Installations can be made from many different mediums including sculptural, sound, or using many thousands of lights as in the Ghent Light Festival in Belgium where a 28metre high cathedral like structure was created using 55,000 lights.
Some installations work beautifully in our churches and cathedrals and others, like the giant plasma screens installed in the American Chapel of St Paul's Cathedral depicting Mary and the martyrs, rather jar on the eye as they sit awkwardly with the rest of the building.
Installations don't have to be at floor level; one Sunderland artist Helma Rud was invited to create an installation for Klagenfurt Cathedral in Austria. She filled the space above the central aisle of the cathedral with huge wings of fabric like sails which then had people's thoughts projected onto them (after they had filled in a card).
Pictured here is a photo of an installation created for a Taizé service. The lighting is from behind the fabric to diffuse and create a glow rather than be starkly lit from the front. The fabric is draped from the bar of a specially made cross and was lit in this way to fit in a Taizé service with a theme of reconciliation, to symbolise forgiveness flowing from the cross towards us.
If you have an installation in your church you would like to share with us please send a brief description of it and a photo. Or if you need help to create something do ask us.