This Sculptural Exhibit display was in celebration of my 10th anniversary as a Minister of Liturgical Floral Design at the Waterbury Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Waterbury, VT.
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At a distance, the brown color of the barbed wire looks like wood vine. But, up close, it represents the scourging that Jesus endured on our behalf. Ivy has always been closely identified with death and immortality. Because it is forever green, it is a symbol of fidelity and eternal life. It clings for support, a symbol of attachment and undying affection.
This sculpture was created for the season of Lent in 2015. The round form represents the earth; the dried branches are the hardening of the hearts of man; and the gloss black symbolizes the pride and arrogance of man. The single calla lily represents Christ as light of the world. Regardless how dark the situations we face may be, our eyes are always drawn to the light.
"If any want to become my followers, let them then deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." Matthew 16:24
364 small, woven palm crosses are placed on one large cross, for a total of 365. Take up your cross daily: the twists and bends of the crosses represents the struggles that we face each day, which are overcome by the cross.
" I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12
The black frame work of wire, barbed wire and thorn branches represents the struggles and strife of everyday life. The three candles symbolize the trinity of God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. The light of the candles is Christ as the light of the world. Ivy represents eternal life, The green color symbolizes the triumph of spring over winter, and life over death. The bird's nest represents the peace and calm that one can have in the midst of everything that is happening in the world.
"For we walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7
When we keep our eyes on God as our source of our total supply, we can walk by faith and not by sight. The focus of the arrangement is at the end of the walk: continuing by faith and not needing to know the final outcome of the journey. Always looking forward and not back, trusting that all things work for the glory of God.
Not all liturgical designs need to have a symbolic representation to reflect the beauty of God's creation. The natural look is the hardest of all design styles to create because we want to have control over all elements within the composition. If not careful, we end up with a manmade look. I wanted to create a natural feel with plant materials while giving an over-all contemporary feel to the composition.
"I am the way, and the truth and the life." John 14:6
"The way" in this sculpture is symbolized by the cross. to know the love of Jesus is to know the love of the Father. "Truth" is represented by the scales. Truth is our way of life, our action and words with Jesus as our guide. "Life" is represented by the bread and grapes of communion in the scales. The ivy is eternal life and the prayer plant at the base symbolizes our talking with God, our meditations and prayers.
"I am the vine, and you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit." John 15:5
The symbolism in this sculpture is simple as we are the branches and when we place our faith and trust in Christ and follow Him, we will bear much fruit.
"I am the good shepherd, I know my own [sheep] and my own [sheep] know me." John 10:14
Symbolically, the dried banana stocks for the shepherd's crook, used to watch over the sheep. The photo shows sheep which are dirty from wandering in the fields which is a symbolism that we do not have to be perfect to follow Jesus.
"I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and fine pasture. The thief comes only to steel and kill and destroy. I come that they may have life and have it abundantly." John 10:9-10
Many times the distractions of the world (symbolized by the twisted wire) prevent us from seeing that which is before us. I have chosen the abstract symbolism of an open heart to represent Jesus' love as the gate, perfect and never-ending. Seven flowers for a triangle that is the symbol of the trinity; and seven is the number of completion and perfection. In the language of flowers, the red rose has become the symbol of love and the amaranth means My love will never fade or die. The gate is open to all who wish to enter.
Created July 29, 2012 - Conflict of the Mind - From Sin to Grace - Symbolism: 6' tall frame and 22" width represents average height and shoulder width of man. The earth is symbolized by the square base. The apple at the base with a bite taken out is for the forbidden fruit. The thorn-apple branches extending 3/4 of the way up the frame symbolize the conflict of the mind. 7 small calla lilies represent the number of perfection and the 6 days of creation and 1 day of rest. The top calla lily outside of the frame represents God watching over his creation. The next tallest large lily on the right represents Jesus as man but above the conflict of the mind. The lowest large lily symbolizes the Holy Spirit in the midst of man's conflict. As a technical note - none of calla lilies touch any of the thorn-apple branches.
Although we may not see or understand why things happen the way they do, God is always in control. This sculpture was created with a visual balance of two unequal weights. One side is larger and has more weight on the longer arm of the balance bar while the other side, although smaller and on the short side of the bar, is in perfect balance with the longer side. The bar is balanced on a small point and can swing up and down and turn in a complete circle. This sculpture represents how, with God, all things are possible. He can create balance in our lives even when we can't see the solutions to our problems.
Table displays for the Waterbury Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Waterbury, VT.
The table displays on this page were commissioned by different members of our congregation; either in memorial of loved ones or for the congregation to enjoy.
2012 Advent display. The display also represents the Golden Rectangle (horizontal distance of the evergreens and the height of the center candle). The Golden Section can also be seen in the birch log. The Golden Rectangle and Section were not planned but when measured fit into the December 9th sermon.
December 9, 2012 - This arrangement is from a series of wood and orchid designs focused on texture and lines and inspired a sermon I was asked to do on this Sunday titled - The Beauty of Creation: Numbers in Nature. The sermon focused on the Fibonacci number sequence 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8...that can be seen in nature and the human body in relation to proportion. This number sequence can also be seen in the Golden Section, the Golden Rectangle and the Golden Spiral (seen in the nautilus seashells).
June 24, 2012 - The frame work is constructed with native branches. Flowers include sun flowers, fox glove, campanula, mini carnations, with hosta foliage and Dutchman's pipe vine and reindeer moss. This display was about four foot high.
February 12, 2012 Flowers given in memory of loved ones. Symbolic Valentine's Display - Branches represent the struggles of life. The white mums represent the Trinity, placed low in the display represents the Trinity in our midst struggles. The red roses represent God's great love.
June 19, 2011- Given in memory of my brother on Father's Day - Flowers include water lilies, iris, baptisia, carnations, lupine and roses with umbrella plant, Solomon's seal, lily grass and lily bud stems.
February 14, 2010: In memorial of loved ones and for Valentine's Day. The flowers include red roses and white wax flower with oregonia and lemon leaf foliage. The heart frame was constructed with decorative gold wire and fantail willow branches.
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