Client: Diocese of Kericho
Location: Kericho, Kenya
Completion date: 2015
Artwork budget: $120,000
John Kenneth Clark
The issue here was to create an appropriate design for this new African Cathedral. The material, terracotta tiles, was a given. The roof is 56mts Long and 8 mts at the small end and 16 mts at the high end.
The intention for the whole building was to integrate art works throughout the building using local materials where possible. These terracotta tiles are made in Kenya using Kenyan clay by a company called Kenya Clay.The roof is the largest visible area of the Cathedral. It was felt that this should be decorated appropriately. Otherwise, it would just be a simple tiled roof.
I worked with the design architects and the clients, The Diocese of Kericho to formulate a theme. We had been considering some Kenyan theme, but this could have caused issues to arise. I took this to a higher level and suggested the religious symbolism of "WHEAT" representing the Host in the Eucharist. This was accepted. I experimented on physically what would be possible with this given material. The idea of creating two kinds of tiles with opposite asymmetric cuts developed and was tested. I developed the method of being able to achieve the subsequent design on the roof with the contractor and some of his workmen.
The roof design was one of the many aspects of the Kericho Cathedral Arts Project. The patterning of the roof has created a vibrant and changing texture on this large space.The concept contains the idea of the "Body of Christ" referring to the Host, but also the idea of covering the "body of Christ" referring to the congregation.