Friday, October 08, 2004

he made my day

“Would you like another slide projector,” the voice on the phone asked. “Because I’ve just brought you one from a garage sale.”

One of the innovations I have introduced at Opawa over the last month in the evening service is two 20 metre long sheets of white cloth that hang on either side of the church. With the artful use of hooks and elastic, we can erect these sheets in about 1 minute flat. We can then rear project slide images and use simple Par 38 coloured bulbs, and in a matter of minutes, create visual and ambient space. Very simple, very effective.

So a notice in the church newsletter and all the returned missionaries and wise old-timers have been steadily, Sunday by Sunday, dusting up and dropping off their old slide projectors. Place a slide in each and you have tiled images, rear-projected, all around the auditorium. Which basically makes those old slide projectors the heart of visually creative worship.

And then the phone call. A wise old-timer, actually buying me projectors, scrounging garage sales, thinking of Sunday on a Saturday.

Makes my day. I’m sure they think I’m barking mad, but there is something slightly redemptive about this whole process; dusting off slices of history and re-using them visually.

Posted by steve at 04:04 PM


  1. We created a similar effect with a 100 foot (30.48 meters) diameter white silk parachute (army surplus) hung from the ceiling as a canopy. We tied off the ends to it extended over the congregation and then draped it down behind the platform. With some very simply colored light and a fan to make it ungulate, we got some very cool ambient color effects.

    Our church environment was very formal and this really created a unique space to worship in on Sunday nights. I wish we would have thought of the projector thing. That would have been a great touch.

    Comment by Darren — October 8, 2004 @ 6:25 pm

  2. I found one of those really old, kill-you-if-it-hits-you-on-the-head, heavy slide projectors in my garage when sorting through old and inherited stuff recently. Want another one? 🙂

    Comment by Michelle — October 8, 2004 @ 7:35 pm

  3. actually Michelle, those old ones are the best, cos they often don’t have noisy fans, so they are quiet … which means that ambient spacious silence is silence and not projecter-fan speak

    you might want to check postage b4 you make such a generous offer!

    Comment by steve — October 8, 2004 @ 10:13 pm

  4. Great work – using whats lying around before running off and buying a $10000 digital projection system.

    I want to do the same thing in our anglican church with alternating slides of stained glass images and closeups of botanical wonders. Do you reckon it’d work alright in a more traditionally shaped steeplehouse?

    Comment by Andrew Mac — October 9, 2004 @ 4:16 pm

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