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Tom Semple is an artist working in visual, conceptual, relational, environmental, and collaborative realms.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Walking Prayer (Mt. Rainier 2006)

It's been over five years since I completed Walking Prayer and I feel that is enough time passed finally to respectfully publish and show it.
I began Walking Prayer as a ritual prayer for close friends and family (and by extension everyone) who were suffering from devestating illnesses.
I decided on using a red cross, the symbol for first aid and healing, as the theme for the work.
It began with a cross in my front yard made with fertilizer on the lawn that could be seen from the ground or the air.
Later in the year I took off with Colleen and we began a walk around Mt. Rainier. We moved counter clockwise on the Wonderland Trail, a 93 mile long trail circumnavigating the mountain.
The trail is almost never flat. You are either going up at a steep rate, or going down at a steep rate. At each high point on the trail I would stop and make a small red cross in the middle of the trail. I would then photograph it, take a photo pointing toward the peak (often it is hidden by forest), and then I would mix the pigment (a non toxic powder imbued with a prayer for healing) into the dust of the trail.
I picture that dust/prayer adhering to the boots of other hikers and being brought back to their homes all over the world. It starts off as a circle and then heads away from the center, like a pinwheel. That dust/prayer has been snowed on and disolved into the streams and rivers and eventually into the Pacific Ocean. I imagine some of it still remains on the trails

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