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Participatory Vigils 3 - Wendy Harpe - 3rd Dec 1983

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The Vigil

The Framework

The starting point was the creation of a two dimensional archetypical tree which was the full width and  height of the basement, so stretching from floor to ceiling and from wall to wall.  The tree was designed by Wendy Harpe and built and installed by Tony Mercer.

The tree in position

Above the tree in situ

Once the tree was in place tiny nails were hammered at one inch intervals along the lower edges of the branches.

The Activity

hanging the lightsThe Vigil consisted of hanging lit night lights to the nails starting from one side a of the tree and working across it.  Such was the width and height of the tree that by the time one reached the other side the ones at the starting point would be going out.

hanging the lightsHanging the lightsAbove and right photos of people hanging the lights

It was possible for people to join in and help with adding the lights, though in practice few did. The exception to this being Claudine who spent much of the day helping.

Preparing the nightlights for hanging on the treePeople preparing nightlights for hanging

Above photos of preparing the nightlights for hanging on a tree.

Participation

Tables for creating treesIn addition to being able to help by adding the night lights or preparing them for hanging; around the outside of the room were tables, with lamps, books about trees (for inspiration),  books with blank pages, a range of coloured paper, card, and pens plus scissors and glue.

Left photos of the tables

Visitors  were invited to add trees, poems about trees, or messages to or from trees to the books.

creating trees  Vi Caffery designing her treeAdding trees to the bookcreating trees

Above photos of people creating their tree work.

Janice dancing in front of the lit tree.Janice dancing in front of the treeJanice dancing in front of the lit treeserving marshmallows to the audience after performing

Above photos of Janice Murphy performing the Peace Dance in front of a lit tree and serving marshmellows to the audience.

The tree stretching across the basement

Above the tree fully lit stretching across the basement

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