Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Exhibition Opening

Dear People,

Yesterday was the opening for my very first group exhibition. In Czech this is called a "vernisáž" because it sounds like the French word for varnish. Apparently the French would varnish all the paintings on the opening day of the show. Whoah! Off topic!

I haven't told you what my contribution to the show was. I made a light installation consisting of five unique lamps. The inspiration was a passage in the Biblical book of Ephesians.

Here it is:
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
-Ephesians 5:8-11

I believe that God helped me and inspired me throughout the whole process. Here are some of the reasons I believe that:
I had no idea what to do for my part in the show until I quieted myself for a moment and asked the Lord for an idea. "Dear Jesus, please give me an idea." Pause. "Thank you, Lord. Great idea!" I am being a little silly here, but this is basically what happened. I really did have the idea for a bunch of intricate lamps right after I prayed. The technique I ended up using was different from the initial idea, but the concept stayed the same.

I was having serious trouble figuring out how to do the electrical lighting inside the lamps until God provided in a really cool way. It was the Saturday before Tuesday's opening and all I had by way of lighting was a jumble of Ikea reading lamps suspended from bits of wire from the ceiling. The effect was terrible. Tangles of wire, switches, and clips stuck out all over and the entire contraption would topple if breathed on. After a good straight talk from my dad (after he found me beating one of the reading lights with a hammer) we decided that I needed some new lights. We went to one of those mega hardware stores and I wandered hopelessly around looking for a solution, praying that God would somehow provide a solution, but not really believing that there was one. Dad on the other hand, asked someone for help. The employee he asked listened to our problem and said, "Of course I can help. All you need is some wire, plugs, and sockets and you can make your own lights." She then spent the next forty five minutes teaching us how to create our own light fixtures. Problem solved. Oh me of little faith.

So after the whole lighting hurdle the only thing left to deal with was the backdrop. I knew that my lamps would show up best against a plain dark background, but all I had by that way were some old faded blue sheets. I spent the Monday before the opening draping sheets in dissatisfying arrangements and taking breaks from that to assuage my frustration with a Czech delicacy called liver paste (or "paštika"). (I learned to love this last week on our senior class trip to Prague. Makes me feel so Czech!) Anyway things were bad so when the girls took a break from work to buy some supplies I tagged along to get my mind off the problem. In the school supply store my eye was caught by the rolls of crepe paper. Aha! Thanks again, Lord. I bought every single roll of black crepe paper in the store and rushed back to the gallery to create the backdrop.

God was so good. The opening night was lovely. The proper thing to do at a "vernisáž" is to provide refreshments and wine and have a little ceremony of thanking and toasting and maybe even a song or two. We wrote a song ourselves and performed it to our own accompaniment. Lots of teachers, friends, family, and random old men came. I am so glad it's over, but so grateful for God's provision.

P.S. Thanks to Jonny and Dad for the photos.

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