Profane to Sacred

(Found plastics, linen, net, fabric scraps, embroidery thread, rope, printing inks, gold spray paint, gilt flakes)

On display in the oldest part of the cathedral, the retro choir ,is an innovative work of art made from found plastics, linen, net, fabric scraps, embroidery thread, rope, printing inks, gold spray paint and gilt flakes.

These were all found on the Thames shore line from around Mudchute and Limehouse on the north bank.

Drawing inspiration from the shapes of found plastics and rubbish Sarah has created an ecclesiastical vestment from the “profane” and transformed it into something “sacred”.

The hand printed silk screen panels of the cope were designed using pieces of coloured plastic.

The circular, free machine embroideries trap tiny shreds and fragments of the found plastic.

The gilded items symbolise the magnificent jewels used in the heavily embroidered ecclesiastical textiles of Opus Anglicanum (English medieval work). The orphrey panels ingeniously echo medieval embroidery using packaging and metallic objects.

Sarah explores the exquisite strength and spirituality that sacred objects and spaces can provide and aims to show that even the lowest form of plastic waste, discarded by society, can be made into something else, something extraordinary.

The Cathedral is working towards a silver award in the Eco Church project which aims to improve the church’s awareness of Christian stewardship of God’s creation and green and sustainability issues in church life and individual lifestyles. Once we have achieved that we shall ‘go for gold’!

‘Profane to Sacred’ alerts us to both the way a throw away society has consequences for river health and wildlife and to the way in which some items can be transformed to convey the meaning of new life, new hope and resurrection.

The Dean of Southwark will wear the cope during choral evensong, at 3.00pm on Sunday 30 September, to celebrate the Totally Thames Festival 2018.