Items painted, sculptured, sewn, embroidered, carved, chiselled, laser and gas axe cut, moulded, photographed, sawn, hammered, woven, knitted, glued, baked and iced clearly demonstrated not only the diversity of the exhibitors but the wide variety of skills involved in showing the answer.
Many folk from surrounding Catholic parishes in the Wellington and Wairarapa joined with the initiating parish, St Joseph's Parish Upper Hutt to create this event of objects demonstrating what faith meant to the exhibit creators.
St Joseph's Parish Priest Father Ron Bennett in taking up this initiative by encouraging committee chair Teresa and husband Stewart Homan stated that he was excited by the fact that the event “...has really been a 'conversation' with the people of Upper Hutt, a place where churched and unchurched folk, people coming from different faith backgrounds and 'no-faith' backgrounds can come together and have 'conversations' under the common themes of Arts and Crafts” in this Year of Faith.
The opening, where some of the wonderfully decorated cake exhibits (after being photographed naturally!) were eaten while still fresh, accompanied with coffee and tea was celebrated in original songs composed by local Hutt Valley and Wairarapa artists...
If it was considered a bit of an experiment in exhibiting themed objects of art and craft to initiate conversations both within the community of faith and to the wider community it was a success judging by both exhibitors and viewers alike who stated 'look! we have to do it again – and soon'.
“I had some reservations at the start” was Teresa's husband Stewart initial response. To show exactly what he meant he created a powerful table top sculpture in steel of a young man stepping out onto the Orb of the world from the top of a Cross and he entitled his work “Stepping out in Faith!”
In one way the answer to the question 'what does my faith mean to me' seemed to be stated a lot 'louder' precisely because the answer was not found in just more talking. Instead it was a more reflective response that allowed the artists and crafters to state “here, we don't want you so much to just listen … but look first, look at what we have created as our answer to this, and then by all means talk too -if you wish."
“We see no reason why this could not continue to be a regular event in the life of our parishes and community” stated Teresa.