Art has the potential of being an incarnational presence in our world. This installation piece is art dedicated to honor the lives lost to the COVID virus and the people who miss them. It is based on the biblical principle to comfort those who mourn (Matthew 5:4). Each weathergram represents a life lost which at the present writing of this statement is 566,000 and growing.
This concept was inspired in part by the World War I commemorative piece Sea of Poppies displayed at the Tower of London in 2014. Each ceramic flower - 888,246 in all - honored soldiers from the UK who died in WWI. It created a visual understanding of how much the country had lost.
Our country is currently so divided that a visual representation of how many have died can also convey much more than mere charts and statistics can. While different parts of the country have undertaken projects to show what their community has lost (for example an art installation made of handmade felt roses in Orange County, CA) this project will show the national cost of the pandemic.
With this artwork, the viewer has a chance to contemplate each life in a piece of paper fluttering in the wind. Each life in turn represents families, friends and communities that have experienced loss. All who wish to participate will be invited to participate by making weathergrams. Through social media, people from all over the U.S. will be welcomed to create weathergrams to send for display. The weathergrams will be hung from netting on the side lawn of Lake Effect Church (which is on the campus of Sudanese Grace Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids, MI). They will remain for a year, slowly fading through the seasons as part of commemorating the feelings of loss. As it grows, it will be photographed and displayed on a Facebook page dedicated to this project.
For more from this artist, please visit her website at https://www.thepastoralartist.com/
For more information on the Sea of Poppies in London, search: