You are welcome to view the exhibition in any order.
The Banner Committee of St. Christopher's Episcopal Church Springfield, Va.; Ann Gerstenberger, Designer
inches wide by 60 inches long
The creative process began with study of the Advent Sunday Lectionary for years A, B, and C, since each banner was to reflect the meaning of one of the four Sundays and be appropriate for all three lectionary years.
Photographs taken from a hilltop overlooking, on one side, the city of Jerusalem, and on the other, the landscape of wilderness of Judea, were an important inspiration. Those hills, with the road leading down toward Jericho became a unifying theme in the banner design.
The scenes in the banners are set at night, the dark blue sky and muted colors describe the season, the deep of winter when we wait in darkness, with penitence and hope for the return of the Light of the world. The moon travels across the banners, marking the weeks through the season of Advent, and reminding us that the prophesies regarding the Messiah became the Truth in the fullness if time, with the birth of the Christ Child.
The gold trim and lettering are not about the glitter and tinsel of secular Christmastide so much as an expression of our profound thankfulness for the richness of God's gift. Like the three wise men, we can only offer our most precious gifts in return.
Many small miracles occurred which made it possible to bring these banners to the church this year: the timely donation of the needed funds; the availability of just enough red Thai silk (that matched the Advent altar cloth and vestments) to border the four banners. Over 50 different fabrics were used in the banners, ranging from the red silk, cotton moire, gold braid and tassels to simple cotton broadcloth. Use of a variety of textures was important, from the sheen of the moon to the irregular surface of the road. Computer graphics were used to refine the final design and color selections. Each design section was appliqued and stitched by hand. Machine stitching was only used to add the borders and put the banners together.
Many hearts and hands and minds were applied to the planning, selection of fabrics, construction methods and sewing of these banners, greatly enriching our own Advent experience.
|©2001 The Episcopal Church and Visual Arts|