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Sunday 23 February 2014

Graced with Light

On Saturday we took the girls to see "Graced with Light", an amazing art installation at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral by artist in residence Anne Patterson.

The installation features around 1,100 strands of ribbon, each 86 feet in length, cascading from the ceiling of the cathedral. That's about 20 miles of ribbon all up! The ribbons, in shades of blue, green and red, create the most wonderful atmosphere in what is already a stunning building.

Ava and Lola was awestruck by the mass of ribbons. The sheer number of them combined with their length makes for a beautiful display. The light shining through the numerous stained glass windows created an even more amazing effect. There was a small service happening when we were in the cathedral complete with choir and organ music. The angelic music really added to the atmosphere. 

Aside from the ribbons and colourful stained glass windows, the girls were fascinated by the labyrinth marked out on the floor. They spent a good time racing around trying to find their way to the centre. Lola wasn't so good at sticking to the path though and took plenty of short cuts!

The ribbon installation is just truly amazing beyond words so let's just let the pictures speak for themselves. A word of warning... I took a LOT of pictures!

Outside the cathedral the girls were excited to discover an exact replica of the labyrinth that they had followed inside. Once again they spent quite some time running around following the path, this time happy to be in the sun and able to make a bit more noise.

And then they had fun going up and down the stairs at the front of the cathedral.

When we left the cathedral we headed down to Pier 39 to check out the Tulip Mania displays. I've got to say, the tulip displays were pretty small and after taking in the splendor of the cathedral were a bit of a let down. Lola being tired and grumpy when we arrived didn't help much either. Nor did the massive number of tourists. Or the fact that it's always much colder and windier down at the piers! Walking down the steep, steep hill towards the water was fun though. Grace Cathedral is located pretty much right at the top of Nob Hill so the walk down in any direction is a steep one. As usual though, the photos don't quite do it justice. Let's just say that I'm glad we were walking downhill and not uphill!  

Oh, and to avoid walking uphill on the way to Grace Cathedral in the first place we caught the California Street cable car. Ding ding! Here's a tip: If you're ever wanting to catch the cable car for fun but want to avoid the massive queues for the Powell-Mason or Powell-Hyde lines (they can be pretty crazy at times) your best bet is to jump on the California line. It's never as busy.

"Graced with Light" will be on display at Grace Cathedral until Friday February 28th. Time is running out - less than a week left. It's an amazing installation and if you can get there this week I highly recommend it.


  1. I've seen this one in person and so glad I did. I didn't realize it was temporary. I wish they would keep it. It's a perfect art piece for the space. I remember my legs hurting walking down from the church. You are such a trooper, with your outings with your little ones and pregnant! I can barely survive outings with just my one toddler.

    1. We don't have a car so my legs are pretty used to hiking up and down hills all day! It is definitely getting harder though ;)

  2. How beautiful! Thanks for posting. I must take the girls :-)

    1. Your girls will love it. It's so beautiful. I just wish I'd known about it earlier as ends so soon.


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