Fabrication For Monumental Textile Work: Divine Pathways, At The Cathedral of St. John The Divine In Harlem

September 14, 2023

Members of the press are invited to visit Harlem’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine during the fabrication of Divine Pathways.

Divine Pathways, is a new, site-specific monumental installation by artist Anne Patterson, on Wednesday, September 20, from 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue (at 112th St.) in Harlem, NY.  Patterson’s largest work to date—an immense field of ribbons—will cascade in light and color from the vaulted arches of the Cathedral’s interior, drawing from the hues of stained glass and shadows within the Cathedral’s nave and leading viewers’ eyes to the elegant architectural details throughout the interior, newly revealed after years of restoration and cleaning.

To prepare for installation, Patterson will be on-site to oversee the fabrication of over 1,100 lengths of blue, red, and gold fabric. Each ribbon is 75 feet in length (approximately seven stories high), and when combined will be almost 16 miles long (longer than the island of Manhattan). The ribbons will then be hung on a 120’ x 30’ aluminum truss frame and suspended approximately 90 feet above the floor of the Nave of the Cathedral. Steel cables extend through holes in the ceiling all the way up to the Cathedral’s forêt (upper attic space) to support the structure.

Each of the pieces comprising this massive textile installation will also speak to the deepest hopes and thoughts of the Cathedral and wider NYC community. Individuals and organizations from across the Morningside Heights neighborhood, New York City, and the Episcopal Diocese of New York are invited to literally write themselves into the work by setting down their hopes, dreams, and prayers onto the ribbons themselves. Throughout the duration of the exhibition, public programs and workshops will offer visitors the opportunity to continue adding their inmost dreams and aspirations to the piece. Individual prayers will be anonymous and beyond the viewer’s sight, but their collective presence will create an experience both intimate and immense, celebrating the collaborative process and community itself.

Photo credit: Anne Patterson.

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