Carrying resentment, anger, or regret can negatively affect mental health and the body. International Forgiveness Day (August 6th, 2017) provides an opportunity to shed these feelings and seek forgiveness in ourselves while granting forgiveness to others. In this interactive project, visitors are invited to transfer unwanted negative emotions to “stones” through writing.
These stones are interconnected sculptural forms made of concrete that are absorbent and heavy. On International Forgiveness Day, I will host an event at Paul Artspace in Saint Louis where visitors can seek forgiveness or resolution by writing or drawing on the concrete forms. Participants may choose to cover parts or all of their messages with a black polish. Then the stones will be left in the forest.
Because the concrete is heavy, it serves as a metaphor of emotional weight. Leaving the stones behind is physical act of literally letting go and a symbolic way of healing, similar to shinrin-yoku, the Japanese art of “forest bathing.”
After the event, stones will be collected for a sculptural altar in a gallery where the project can continue. In the gallery, visitors may continue writing on concrete forms while sifting through the ones others have left. My hope is that this project can help people feel less alone and provide some peace for people who are dealing with difficult issues.