Fran Phelps has given North Congregational Church a beautiful “fiber sculpture” made by Molly Fowler of West Hartford. I would like to send you her description of her work and encourage you to look carefully at this lovely work of art and find all the people and objects she describes in her narrative. This work is hung in the sanctuary.
“The story of Noah’s Ark is as familiar as the best known nursery rhymes. Taken from the Book of Genesis, the flood occurs only a few chapters after the Creation of Man. For most of us, Noah is recognized as the builder of a great ship which is filled by animals coming on board “two by two’. We remember the downpour, the forty days and finally, the discovery of dry land by a dove. Assuming all this, I have chosen to concentrate on the later parts of the narrative, Noah’s resettlement and his relationships with God and the land after the flood.
My work is made from hand-felted wool. I buy fleece, mohair, alpaca, silk, cotton and ramie from around the world, dye it and spin it whenever I need thread. Looking into the background you can see ancient cities emerging from the waves, Noah, the first vintner is seated as if enthroned in his arbor. Two of his sons work the land, seeding and plowing. The third son, on the right, is “ the good shepherd” a precursor of the images in the “New” Testament. We should remember that grapes and the making of wine were of great importance in the ancient world. There are countless myths and stories to remind us that wine is a potentially hazardous gift. For Noah himself it was a bounty which, taken in excess, became a tragic humiliation.
As a human being Noah had failings, true enough, but his character emerges as reverent and energetic. Despite his troubles he remembered to build an altar (on the left) to God, sacrificing and giving thanks according to the demands of his times. As a reward Noah enjoyed a personal relationship with God. The rainbow in the sky is the ultimate sign of God’s Covenant or “Promise” to Noah. In these days, when we see the “bow” in the sky, we are reminded to be optimistic, to hope for a better tomorrow.”
Molly Fowler – 1982
Fran and family.