After doing some research for my students on interactive installations, I was inspired to create my own. This installation just went up in our gallery at school, timed to coincide with the holidays and the end of the semester (Finals week and the week before).
The piece was inspired by the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem where visitors stuff their prayers into the cracks of the wall. I wanted to create a space for our school community to nourish their spiritual side during his hectic time of year. The instructions for the wall are as follows:
Write it down, roll it up and leave it at the wall.
The wall is a place to leave a note. Not a message to someone else at school, but a place to leave a note for safe keeping or unburdening yourself, a prayer, a wish, something that is stressing you out, something that is making you angry. Write it down, roll it up and leave it at the wall.
At the end of finals week, all of the notes will be gathered, unread and buried on campus – put to rest.
I had originally thought of keeping all of the notes and later binding them into a book, but my wife suggested thinking about a way to bring closure to the activity, perhaps burning the notes. More research revealed that the notes at the Wailing Wall are collected very 6 months and then buried, so I borrowed that idea as well.
Already, only a few hours after the installation was introduced at assembly, the wall is starting to be filled!