Arts & the Spirit commissioned an art installation in May 2021 by local artist, Heather Sandifer that would inspire reflection about the cycle of life. Mrs. Sandifer created a wooden cross complete with nest and three stone eggs, titled ‘Caring Spirit’ now placed in the Bookstore Garden for all to enjoy.
The installation is made from natural materials, a hallmark of Mrs. Sandifer’s love for the outdoors and plant life. “This installation symbolizes that life and death are intertwined; death supports life, and life must end in death, but the nurturing Christian faith demonstrates how death can be the beginning of new life” shares Mrs. Sandifer, describing her beautiful sculpture. She is dedicating this piece to all the selfless caregivers who put others first often without even knowing them personally. This was especially fitting given the global pandemic the community has been living with for over a year.
The cross was dedicated and blessed by Marek Zabreski with Mrs. Sandifer in attendance along with Police Chief, James Heavey on Sunday, September 26th. This was the same Sunday, Christ Church celebrated the 125th anniversary of service from the Greenwich Police Department, a perfect day to dedicate Mrs. Sandifer’s cross to all care givers and first responders of our town.
All are invited to sit and enjoy “Caring Spirit” in the Dogwood Bookstore anytime. It is accessible from the bookstore or from the cemetery. The bookstore garden is taken care of by volunteer parishioners in memory of the bookstore’s first manager, Mary Jane Marks.
About Heather Sandifer: From an early age, Heather accompanied her mother into the woods to collect plants for sketching, pressing and dried arrangements. Many years later, as an instructor for the New York Botanical Garden, she discovered the rich, hidden world of the herbarium – a vast plant bank. She began using plant preservation techniques for her own botanical identification and this too became a great source of inspiration for her. Her frustration with the fragility of the pressed plants, however, pushed her to experiment with nature printing, leading to the creation of her unique one-off hand prints she calls ‘nature monotypes’. Heather is a hunter/gatherer with exclusive permission to collect plants in some of the finest gardens on the East Coast.
Awarded a Certificate in Botanical Art & Illustration from the New York Botanical Garden, Heather’s background includes a career in textile design and also one as a garden writer. Her art has been featured at Holly/Hunt, Chicago, David Winter Works on Paper, NY, the Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Norwalk, CT and the Flinn Gallery, Greenwich, CT as well as other private and exhibition venues.