Creativity During Time Out

The Chapel of Simple Abundance, Ferncroft Estate

In recent years, many people have been experiencing depression and anxiety.  We have found ourselves unable to align with goals and peaceful living.  With the expansion of technology, we have been encouraged to want more and we have become addicted to working harder and longer in order to have more. We multi-task and juggle family, health, debt, and happiness often with little feeling of satisfaction.

The past three years have been especially difficult as we have been hobbled by Covid.  We have become workaholics and perfectionists and blocked creatives.  Our upcoming exhibit, TIME OUT, opening at the Robeson Art Guild on March 17, focuses on creative response to Covid.    

It was Margaret Young who wrote:

“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards:  they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse.  You must be who you really are, then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.” (SIMPLE ABUNDANCE, Sarah Ban Breathnach)

In this first article for RAG, the Robeson Art Guild newsletter, I want to include photos of the CHAPEL OF SIMPLE ABUNDANCE, located at Ferncroft Estate near Fairmont, NC.  This chapel was constructed of more than 8,000 various types of common bottles donated by individuals, organizations, and businesses. . . mostly wine bottles but also olive oil bottles, and beer bottles, and other unusual and lovely bottles that would have otherwise crowded the waste dump sites.  The CHAPEL OF SIMPLE ABUNDANCE required approximately two years of construction work by Nila and Lionel Chamberlain and was completed during the stressful days of Covid. It was constructed next to the Barfield Cemetery, a pre-Civil War Cemetery whose eldest resident is Neil Barfield, born in 1798.  

The CHAPEL OF SIMPLE ABUNDANCE is a space that allows visitors to think, to breathe and to discover more about themselves and life itself.   It reminds us that what we perceive as negative often is, in fact, positive when we refocus, and free our minds and choose a creative path.  The CHAPEL OF SIMPLE ABUNDANCE is a visual statement of what we did during the TIME OUT. We offer it as a part of the current TIME OUT EXHIBITION at the Guild House.  It is the Chamberlains’ creative response to being hobbled by Covid and refusing to be creatively blocked. 

We hope you will enjoy seeing the photos and that you will honor us later with a visit once Covid is controlled. Also, mark your calendar to attend TIME OUT, opening March 17 at the Guild House; and remember, as Maya Angelou wrote: 

“You can’t use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have.”  

Nila Chamberlain


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