The YOUtopia Experience – Part 1
Debriefing about being part of The Sacred Journey at YOUtopia will be written about in three parts, because there is a lot to write about!
Part 1 – Temple Building Synergies
Part 2 – Rituals and Ceremonies
Part 3 – Plans for the Future
Part 1 – Temple Building Synergies
From the moment I arrived in San Diego and integrated with the crew I felt loved, recognised and respected for the work I do in creating sacred spaces. The Journey crew were so welcoming and hard working. I’m so proud to count them all as friends. What an amazing crew to have landed into!
When we arrived onsite we (my assistant/aka husband /aka chief bag carrier/ aka Captain Jayman and I) jumped straight into setting up The Sacred Journey. For two more days, the team worked at creating the structure, sound and lighting components, while I did final fabric prep and then! I could hang my work upon theirs. MELD TIME.
It was a nerve-wracking time, given I had not touched the structure while I was in make-mode. Since I’ve not yet learned how to do digital modelling, I only had my imagination to envision how my work would blend with The Journey. The curvature of the structure meant that either side of the tunnel required different tactics, and as I suspected, some of my work did not fit the structure well. BUT most of it did! And it looked great.
Dan (Lead Designer) managed to match the lighting design with descriptions of my concepts for each of the five sections within the Sacred Journey tunnel. I could finally breathe a sigh of relief when the lights were turned on for the first time, and everything looked good.
There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a collaborated artwork come together so well.
Best of all, the feelings that the artwork evoked in people were the exact feelings we were aiming for. This for me, is the real success. A piece of artwork can be as pretty or as well-made as you like, but if it doesn’t move the viewer into a state of reflection then it will just be pretty and well-made. A Temple has got to do more, and what is fascinating is how that shift can be made, from the ordinary to the sacred, by adding intention and a few physical materials that point people into the realm of connecting to something deeper.
The Sacred Journey had to have some last minute adjustments made, and we reduced the sections from 6 to 5.
The sections were divided as follows:
Node 1: Welcome area and Ten Principles. Gateway 1 - Soft curtain.
Node 2: The Universe - constellations made with doilies. Gateway 2 - A giant vagina.
Node 3: The Earth - A tree, dragonflies, bees, butterfly, river. Gateway 3 - The Charka Reflection.
Node 4: The Shadow - six paintings of different aspects of the human experience. Gateway 4 - Your own shadow.
Node 5: The Torus - White woven walls of energy and portal. Gateway 5 - The Torus Reflection.
People who visited the Temple and came inside the central area were invited to write on a piece of fabric, their hopes, prayers, and letting go things, and then tie the material to the Obelisk or the roof structure. It was overwhelming, packing it all away and seeing how many ties had been attached to the material. Well over 1000 for sure. Tear jerking moment. These ties, and the Obelisk will be taken to Burning Man 2018 and burned.
I came home feeling so blessed and inspired about all the gifts that the YOUtopia experience gave me and I'm over flowing with ideas of gifts back. And I'll write more about those in Part 2 and 3.
Lots of Love
(All the fabric artwork in the images below has been made and designed by me. I had help with the white sheets by my four step/children, Sophia, Ella, Maddie and Levi; the insects by Camille; and the shadow section by Rachelle, who also chose the shadow images. Didn't she do a great job!)
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