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Flemish artist shows you how
If the church in the image above doesn’t look quite right – its because its not. Constructed next to a cycle track in Belgium, using 30 tons of steel and 2000 columns it is an outdoor artwork commissioned by the contemporary art museum in Hasselt. Though it has a certain ethereal beauty to it – there is neither room nor comfort to use it as a worshipping space. The artist, inspired by the shape of the (largely vacant) churches around about him, describes it as ‘the traditional church transformed into a transparent object of art’.
Seven years ago the church where I work was transformed by chopping out the middle and creating a two-storey high glass atrium. (You can see a picture here) The effect of this transparency on the local community has been magnetic- and I’m pleased to say that the building is nearly always busy.
In the speeded-up film below,you will see Van Varenbergh’s construction come together in a matter of seconds. Of course it really took much longer than that. Constructing a properly transparent church at the heart of the community takes even longer – but it is definitely worth it.
I think this video really needs a soundtrack – any suggestions?