January 15, 2014

Wednesday Whim - Graced With Light (Grace Cathedral)

all images from my iPhone

One thing I have always wanted to do is to see an art installation in person that is awe-inducing enough to write about in a Wednesday Whim post (at least since I started to document them). Luckily for me, this awe-inducing moment happened this past weekend while I was at Grace Cathedral with this installation called "Graced With Light." 

Created by New York artist, Anne Patterson (the current resident artist for Grace Cathedral), the installation features 20 miles of ribbon hanging from the church's vaulted ceiling. The installation occurred in three phases. The first phase happened in March, 2013 with a musical performance by cellist, Joshua Roman, unveiling
 632, 86-foot, less than 1-inch wide colorful ribbons (blue and two shades of green). In June, 2013 she added 473 ribbons (in pink, red and burgundy). The extra ribbons contains prayers, hopes and dreams written on them from people in the community. For the final phase (in October, 2013) the artist teamed up a composer/conductor (Paul Haas) and an artist/filmmaker (Adam Larsen) for a one-time 70-minute musical installation.

As one might imagine, the installation took months of preparation. She drew numerous drawings, constructed a 3/16-inch scale model (featuring embroidery floss) and hung ribbons in the hallway outside her studio in New York to determine a pattern that would look good in density and color. Upon arrival in San Francisco, Patterson spent four days attaching ribbons to rope (to hang from), two days to get the ropes in place in the church's attic and two more days to make sure the ribbons were "just right" (free from knots and tangles).

This installation is still on view until February 28. Once it is over, Patterson hopes to use parts of the installation for a new piece in the cathedral. 

To say the least, seeing this installation in person is really stunning. You don't have to be a religious person to appreciate the magnificence and beauty. Who knew simply hanging ribbons from a church ceiling could seem so magical? Grace Cathedral is beautiful on its own but Anne Patterson's exhibit elevates the interior another notch. To see more (and better) photos, visit here and read more about the exhibit here.


  1. It looks absolutely gorgeous in the photos - I can't even imagine how beautiful it was to see in real life!

    xo, B

  2. What beautiful light! It looks so pretty.

  3. wow. thats all i can say to that!

  4. You definitely don't need to be religious to enjoy these images. I love the way it looks against the windows.

    Please vote for my entry in the WWDMAGIC contest http://bit.ly/1j4DVeI

  5. Wow - amazing installation in a beautiful cathedral! I love seeing installations like this, and moreover, I love going to old cathedrals like this - they're so beautiful on the inside!

  6. Wow. Now that is a magnificent installation. How incredible it is to not just see or hear art, but be part of it. I would love to see this in the flesh. It almost looks like the stained glass windows are melting.

  7. What exceptional images, and via your Smartphone. Love it!
    Happy New Year! :)

  8. this looks so incredible, beautiful photos x

  9. It must have been enormous and amazing to see too! I love the look of it, the installation photographs beautifully :) The ribbons almost look like colorful beams of light to me xo

  10. love these. i really have to look out for ones in my area. miss being awed like this.

  11. Awesome pictures!

    x Angela


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