Tuesday evenings is Triptych night. This is a project I started back in…. February? The church I go to has recently gone through some pretty major changes, namely leaving the old building and moving in to a temporary space while designing a new building to meet the needs of the congregation and community. In this time of upheaval, the idea came about for an art project that would somehow mark this occasion. Hence the triptych idea. I’ve been leading a small group through this project. Basically, it’s a large triptych (loosely depicting past, present and future) with plaster strip relief images. I have never done anything like this before and it has been a good learning experience.
Working with adults (a change for me) is interesting, and I am continually saddened at the lack of confidence so many feel when it comes to making. Of course, these are not artists, and I know that everybody has there strengths, but when we get down to it, they *CAN* do it, and it seems to be mostly an attitude that I’m sure was taught. Anyway, the group did a really good job, and I was surprised and please at their vision for the project. I of course has some ideas in mind of how it would turn out, and I’m really happy that it is different – that they took the project and made it their own and had original ideas. And that is what working with a group is all about! It’s a pity I didn’t start writing about it sooner so I could document the process, and what I learned. We’ve now completed a plaster relief of the images in our triptych and have moved on to painting. Incidentally, painting seems to scare people off, as attendance has dropped a little, but this could also be due to the fact that the project has gone longer than anticipated, and it’s summer and we’ve had rotten weather except for some Tuesday evenings! I think that in general, though the plaster process was new to everybody, and many people still had doubts with their abilities, it was different enough to allow people to engage without feeling too nervous, where as “painting” is so symbolically artistic that it can intimidate. Also good lesson here. But all in all I am happy for people to participate in whatever way works for them – some people were enthusiastic workhorses when it came to the plaster, and other people are flourishing with the painting.