Originally posted at the Center for Faith and Work.

In the Spring of 2017, CFW awarded multi-discplinary artist Lea Fulton a six-week residency wherein the artist would create a new work based on the given theme of “the unfinished work”. Fulton’s work explored our theme through an immersive installation centered on the experience of forgiveness. The carefully crafted piece was installed in an empty storefront on the Lower East Side, where a single table filled with sand, occupied by the artist for 14 consecutive hours, invited strangers into an urban stillness where they could experience or practice forgiveness, with the artist and other strangers, however they felt lead. The following is the artist’s own account of the work from conception to execution.

I began this project holding my old baggage. One suitcase of fear of not finishing anything, and ironically the other hand holding the bag which holds the fear of defining myself by the things I do finish. I am afraid to “speak”. Along the way I met with a spiritual counselor who uses an ancient Peruvian shamanic tradition to help us discover and move through blockages in our journey. We found together that there was something unsettled in my third chakra, which lies just at the solarplexus and is the space where intuition (lower 2 chakra energies) and power of heart and mind (upper 4 chakras) are integrated and navigated. This was important work for me in relationship to this project. Artistically I’m in constant pursuit of receiving visions for my work and yet I have a deep distrust of myself and anyone else who claims to be speaking as a mouthpiece of the Divine. It became clear to me that this is a tension in my practice that I am working through. In the journey of this particular project I felt like I was able to rest in the conviction that the idea was indeed God breathed. My own responsibility was to move ego and doubt out of the way, attend to the purity of the idea as best I could through discipline, and allow the idea to breathe itself into being through a simpler me. I began to understand that the idea would not be breathed into completion until the people came to participate. This was a relief. This was a true offering, an emptying – the economy of giving is receiving. I want to be filled up by the work of this exchange.

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