Reliquary

Every reliquary needs a relic. Mine has a skull, among other things.

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Reliquary


I had talked to Jens Brasch, an artist friend of mine about my idea for a reliquary. He said that what he would find interesting was if I made a drawing every day to go with the reliquary. That idea resonated with me, and I had to think about what kind of paper to use. I found two separate stashes of paper from my dad’s desk–the white paper is stationary from the Baptist Ministers and Missionary Board. The slightly larger, beige paper is Japanese rice paper, “for block prints,” according to my dad’s notes on the paper cover. I salvaged these papers from his office after his death in 1996.

I began with a map of the cove at Fore Point on Squam Lake. Dad had created this map to assist him in sailing into the rocky cove. My first drawing was this simple rendering of the reliquary on it’s pedestals.

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Reliquary

My studio partner, Jeanette Durand, was willing to let me take over the window of our studio for my reliquary installation. And then she asked a crucial question–are you going to sit it on any kind of support?

I hadn’t given this any thought and as soon as she said it, I knew I had to put this reliquary on a pedestal, well actually two pedestals and get it off the floor.

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Notes from the Studio

What is a reliquary?

My first trip to Europe left me fascinated with reliquaries–ornate chalices and boxes and holders of the fragmented remains of sacred stuff: some saint’s finger, a bit of the True Cross, a fragment of shroud. I have my own collections of stuff that seem sacred to me–endowed with meaning. So for part of March and April I am constructing/assembling a reliquary dedicated to remains from my memories of my father.

I began with a box that must have once been part of a desk of some sort, and some of the drawers and wooden pieces that used to fit together with it. This box comes from the barn in New Hampshire. We cleaned out the barn a couple of years ago and it was going to go to the dump. I just couldn’t let it go. That’s when I decided I would use it to make a reliquary to/for my dad.

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