Tanja Bürgelin-Arslan

Friedenskirche Norddeich. Prayers FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Prayer is oxygen for the soul. People pray. Always have, always will. We carry spirituality within us. Prayers are our connection with God. At the center is the LORD’S PRAYER, i.e., the prayer Jesus taught us. The artist collected historical as well as personal prayers in different languages from all over the world as well as in celestial languages. A total of 20 languages represent the entire world, and in 190 variations, they worship God together.
 The sculpture shows prayers ascending to heaven. At the highest place, enthroned, if you will, we find names for God and Jesus: Yahweh, Elohim, Abba, Yeshua …
 The reflections of the prayers represent the many facets of a personal and deep relationship with God that opens new perspectives. The prayers move gently through the rising air, seemingly floating towards heaven. Spoken and sung prayers complete the installation.
 The work is also intended as a bridge between praying people of our world community.


Commissioned work, inaugurated Easter 2015

Commissioned by: Friedenskirche des Sozialwerks Nazareth, Norddeich (D)

Materials: Mirror-polished stainless steel, aluminum

Dimensions: Ceiling mirror mounted at a height of 8 m, width approx. 5 m

Audio: Sung and spoken prayers in tongues: 11 min
The Prayers from Around the World installation was exhibited for the first time in 2013 at the PROvocate exhibition of the Filter4 Cultur Affairs gallery in Basel.

Go to “Sculptures” to see the “Prayers from Around the World” installation.
There is also a video about this work of art.

A one-to-one transfer of the prayer installation of the PROvocate exhibition was not possible due to the new spatial situation in the church.
 1 ½ years of planning work followed: from inspiration, various new ideas to model building in summer 2014, then clarification of the technical implementation, obtaining cost estimates, countless meetings, precise assembly planning.
Tanja Bürgelin-Arslan flew to Norddeich in November 2014 with assembly manager Bryan Haab (www.bryanhaab.com) to take measurements of the 8m-high ceiling on site and coordinate final details with Dieter Tweitmann, the long-time technical advisor to the Nazareth Social Services. 
Since so many, altogether 3155 Vietnamese refugees had passed through the Sozialwerk Nazareth and still today former refugees are working at the Sozialwerk Nazareth after successful vocational training, the VATERUNSER in Vietnamese was integrated into the artwork at the request of the house.
 The assembly took place from December 15-19, 2014.
 The inauguration took place at Easter 2015.

Sozialwerk Nazareth is an important employer in Norddeich with its 130 employees; a kindergarten, a home for the elderly, a clearing house and an international child and youth welfare facility for refugees are other mainstays.
 Every three weeks, new mothers with children arrive for the cure.
The Friedenskirche (Peace Church) with its prayers from all over the world artwork is open to all people and invites them as a place of peace, tranquility, rejuvenation, and a place of prayer.

Praying connects people (Beten verbindet uns Menschen.) 
Ostfriesischer Kurier dated 29 December 2014

A work of art aimed at connecting (Ein Kunstwerk, das verbinden möchte.) 
Badische Zeitung dated 09.05. 2015
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