Today was an amazing experience. Although intended as a 'slow' start to the project, i.e. a quiet day without additional workshops, press calls, or 'official' duties, I had not counted on the sheer number of people passing by - dog owners, parents with young children, and walkers. The chance to talk to and connect with so many people individually - over 100 - was a great way for me to introduce the project, and I learnt a thing or too, as well.

Originally, the sculpture was called "I will leave a light burning", but after today, and comments from people, I have decided to rename it "Vigil" - and because the concept of waiting intrigues me, and I'm sure there will be more work around 'Vigils' in future, this is "Vigil I". The writing on the glass is a letter from World War II, written by a soldier, Fred, to his wife - although I do have a lot of letters from him, she is never addressed as anything other than 'darling', so I don't know her name. The letters I have span several years - this one is from 1941 - and one thing I noticed is that his letters to his wife are not always only loving - he chides her for decisions she makes in his absence, accuses her of not caring, since she hasn't managed to get him released from duty, and calls her a liar, since he isn't receiving as many letters from her as she says she wrote. And yet, he writes that he adores her, and talks of their dream of starting a new life as soon as he returns home. Although I know neither him nor her, I picture a relationship complicated by the war, bringing out personality traits through circumstances and despair. And yet, since the letters I have continue all the way into the late 50s, I know that she waited for him, waited for Fred to come home. 

Today, I would say that a large number of people walking past had experience of waiting, some of them dating right back to World War II, too. But the concept of waiting, and fearing, and holding vigil, with a mixture of hope and dread, will never change, whether we're waiting for a soldier to return, or to hear news from a sick friend, knowing whether a loved one made it home okay, the result of the first pregnancy scan...by the time we're adults, most of us have waited.

Interestingly, most people thought that is should be unbearable for me to sit there for 11 hours, waiting for the camera to take a shot every two minutes. But it wasn't. Cold though it was, it was good to spend time just...waiting.

This folly comes in several parts, and this is just Part 1. I will be back on location in March, June, and September/October, to cover the other seasons. In June, the length of time needed to cover 'dark 'till dark' will be 21 hours. Maybe then, I'll feel like I'm 'holding vigil'.

For more photos of today, please visit the Folly page. There will be a 'making of' video at some point, too, but for now, please meet "Vigil I".

Thank you to everybody who helped with this folly, supplied tea, cake and sausage sandwiches, and company on the day, but above all, thank you to my husband, who helped build the framework, attach the sculpture, and is the brains behind the programmable stop motion wizardry!!
1/25/2012 03:08:23 pm

Looks fantastic !!! :)) well done you...and will keep fingers crossed for warm weather for the rest of the vigils.

1/25/2012 04:28:59 pm

Beautiful, very emotional. X

1/25/2012 04:36:33 pm

Well done Sabine. I am looking forward to seeing the rest of your work with the follies.

6/29/2014 09:08:03 pm

nice posts

7/11/2014 09:42:05 pm

nice postz


Leave a Reply.