Francis Robe
Handmade plant fibre paper, recycled kraft paper, ink and found material
Arte Studio Ginestrelle, Assisi.
Initial sketch
The robe worn by St. Francis remains on view in the crypt of his Basilica in Assisi
Dark Night
Mixed media
8x10 inches
Robe detail
Walnut ink on handmade paper
40.5x30.5 cm (16x12 inches)
A number of the saint's quotations line the Francis Robe
A back view of the Francis Robe
Coptic Find
Mixed media with found fibre on canvas
61x91.5 cm (24x36 inches)
Francis Robe, lining detail
Francis Robe, lining detail showing variety of collage material
Francis Robe, installed view highlighting drawings from thorn bush story
Francis Robe, lining detail, one of St. Francis' most helpful quotes
Studio work table showing lining in process
Arte Studio Ginestrelle showing Robe under construction
Studio work table showing calligraphy for "Canticle of the Sun"
Robe under more sleeve to be attached
Lining showing thorn bush detail
Francis Robe, upon completion, installed amid olive wood
Basilica of St. Francis, Assisi
The medieval town of Assisi from the vallery below with Basilica on left

The Francis Robe project explores the process of merging texture, symbol and narrative. It is inspired by the worn and patched habit of St. Francis which remains available to the public in the crypt of the great basilica in Assisi.

The garment construction process was accomplished through collage, using diverse plants as paper making fibres in combination with recycled materials. A selection of area maps are incorporated with calligraphies of Francis's most known quotes including 'Canticle to the Sun'.

More than the physicality of the garment as object with its historical implications, it comes to represent atemporal events. The intention of this work is to introduce the enduring legacy of St.Francis's spiritual accomplishments to secular culture. The project's premise being various items of clothing evoke particular psychological experiences. In many cultural situations garments are layered with symbolism that invokes the transpersonal and celebrate inner transformation.

The physicality of the material world is felt as an experience within our own physicality. The work endeavours to make visible what is normally invisible as it elicits an awareness of what is Francis's robe here, now and who is Francis, the Saint of ecology in the 21st century.

We are not meant to have an intellectual connection, we are meant to have a visceral one.