‘Cycle Saints’ is a series of works that display imaginary animal saints as totems of the spiritual and emotional aspects of bicycling and travel. This concept was originally presented as part of Northern Spark and the Minneapolis Midtown Greenway Association’s Greenway Glow in 2012. I revitalized and remounted the concept to present at the Weisman Art Museum’s Wanderlust event in 2014.
For each exhibit, glowing lantern shrines depicted imaginary animal saints who represent different aspects of bicycling. The saints embody the spirit of Endurance (the Salmon), the spirit of Strength (the Ox), the spirit of Grace (the Heron), the spirit of Ease (the Jellyfish), and the spirit of Self-Sufficiency (the Camel). Visitors were encouraged to interact with the shrines and choose a spoke card of the Saint they felt the greatest affinity with or need for in their travels. These small works of art accompanied visitors into their lives as everyday totems.
During the Northern Spark event, a single large glowing shrine was stationed by the side of the Greenway bicycle trail in Minneapolis. The shrine encouraged cyclists to stop and reflect on the spiritually and environmentally valuable aspects of bicycling. Accompanying spoke cards allowed bicyclists to carry images of the saints with them in their wheels as the cycling equivalent to car-oriented dashboard saints. During the Wanderlust event, multiple bike wheel chandeliers hung from the ceiling with hand drawn paper lanterns balanced like mobiles on each piece. Underneath the chandeliers were placed individual tables displaying spoke cards of each saint. Together the chandeliers and tables made a ‘shrine’ for each saint. Visitors were encouraged to take a small metal token from a large jar at the beginning of the row of shrines and place the token in a smaller jar of the saint of their choosing. In return for this ‘offering’, visitors took home a spoke card to accompany them in their travels.