bitsy game // cross-stitch // picture frame

A novena is an ancient tradition of devotional praying in Christianity,
consisting of private or public prayers repeated for nine successive days or weeks.

novena is also an release from cecile richard in 2018,

a game about the burden of strength and the fruits of perseverance.

it was made with bitsy, an open-source game engine with a characteristic pixelated look.

here is a screen from novena, with stained glass, candles, yellow avatar and virtual light:

a pixel art rendition of the insides of a cathedral, with rays of light pouring through the stained glass

by the end of 2020, as i was sloughing my way in and out of depression, i got into myself to cross-stitch that image on white fabric. the work, the repetitive gestures, the lax calculations, the slow progress, would anchor me in time. when i travelled to take pictures for the schappe series, i brought the cloth, threads and needles with me. the cold settled in, but i would have this soothing outlet at hand, silently asking for a gentle steadiness. thus, autumn turned into winter.

i completed it in mid-february 2021. it took countless hours, across three and a half months.

let me rephrase that. it didn't take time. it gave it.

the cross-stitched version, lit by natural winter light

eventually, i began taking picture-framing lessons. my idea was to frame prints of the ataraxie series by myself, but learning the ropes required a few training projects first.

and so, last spring, the novena embroidery was unexpectedly taken out of retirement/completion.

determination poured into serendipity. otherness-seeking and self-withdrawal, interlaced...

i believe this story ends here, but who knows?

  1. ria,