Light Pillars

August 6 th 2010

Tissue paper, string, glue, foam core and steel disks

I created this piece to illustrate what it can be like when people pray. I wanted to show how God reaches down to commune with us as we reach up to him and are filled with the light of his mind and presence. As we collectively meet him together we are strengthened by his presence in others and ourselves. While I was making the piece two verses in particular helped influence me: "They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor" (Isaiah 61:3, NIV), and "God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin" (1 John 1:5-7, NIV).

The pillars are eight feet tall and made out of tissue paper and string. I made them large enough to create an experience someone could walk into and become a part of. Each one took about nine hours to make and the upper connecting pieces took a weekend of long hours to finish. Somehow I don't feel like I've finished a piece unless I've laboured long and hard over it and reworked the materials until they transform into something more than they really are.

Topics: Arts

Ruth Maendel studied Fine Arts at the University of Manitoba, graduating in 2000. "I create for my audience more than myself, and so I often need the motivation of a show to get working," says Ruth. "I often use layers and repeated objects to portray the church, and I am continually trying to come up with yet another way to illustrate the Holy Spirit more effectively. It is a challenge I think I will spend my whole life enjoying." She makes sculpture and installation art primarily, and has recently expanded into photography. She currently works full time for the city of Winnipeg in Gardening and Urban Forestry.