CHARLIE WISSEMAN | Prayer Wheels

Prayer Wheels 

People need a place to share the sense of loss from the last year, and to hope for the future. I lost opportunities, friends, and most recently a sister, whose funeral I could not attend. I process feelings with my hands, so I created a group of “Prayer Wheels." Tibetan Buddhist prayer wheels have prayers on the surface. Rotating the wheel drum by hand is an act of prayer. I made rotating drums of ceramic, wood, found materials, rope, and other materials with words from songs and poems of solace and hope inscribed on some surfaces. There is a place to deposit messages into one hollow drum, as well as surfaces for chalk and other writing. Columns of rotating letter blocks for ephemeral messages are also included.
 
Everyone has missed touching people and things so I would like these rotating drums to be an indirectly-shared tactile experience and an act of shared prayer. Accumulation of messages will make the prayers stronger with time, even as the world recovers from pandemic trauma. I was Boneyard signature artist in 2016. An installation I did for Boneyard that year was a sensory space of many materials. The high point of the show was allowing a blind man touch everything, so I want to make a work that anyone can touch and experience. Some inscriptions for this piece are in Braille.