A few years ago Adrian Greenwood hosted a MorePraxis Gathering with the theme of “Let The Wild Rumpus Begin,” at the event I curated a worship space based on the same theme using a lot of imagery from the children’s book by Maurice Sendak and the subsequent and beautiful film. I’ve been asked over and over again to put what we did onto paper, and inspired by the recent death of Maurice Sendak I’ve returned to the material and have typed it out for people’s use.
The MorePraxis Gatherings are fun events for me, trying to curate a space that not only allows for interaction with adults of a variety of ages but also of children as young as 0 to participate in also. As a result I don’t take it all that seriously and try and create a space where people can interact with the material in their own way and I try to include a sense of playfulness, (afterall we do tend to use children’s books as our starting point when thinking about our theme) I’m not one for perfection with how it all looks, instead I’m happy if I can create a place where everyone can participate in co-creating the space.
You may also be interested in seeing how Greenbelt in the UK used Wild Things as a theme for last year’s hub space (and check out Harry Baker dressed up as Max) their visuals are a lot more spectacular than the ones I used. Check out the trees on the video and the backdrop!!! AND THE MASKS THAT THE KIDS MADE!!! AND THE LINO PRINTS!!! How stunningly beautiful.
Visually we looped some of the film on the wall of the space, the sailing scene (15.35 – 16.52) to the island is a beautiful scene and, when projected onto the wall can make you sit and stare….
We also placed images from the book and film around the space along with printouts of Geoff McFetridge’s Wild Things posters
On the first day I set the space up with more room set out for the ocean so we could focus more on the journey, we created a boat using some overturned tables, I made some ocean waves & grass leaves using corflute and timber (you’ll see in the photos) and we installed a few trees painted onto calico using the book’s illustrations as inspiration.
On the second day we moved the boat and gave the island a lot larger of space, we added the camp fire, crown and fort building on the second day (i find that if I’m running something over a few days adding, moving, removing things allows the space to be fresh and newish).
If you’re looking for some great pieces of artwork inspired by the story and Maurice’s illustrations check out TerribleYellowEyes.com some of these would look great blown up all over the place…
We used the soundtrack from the film by Karen O, beautiful, atmospheric… you couldn’t want anything more than this, in fact, we used some of it at our wedding….
As for each of the stations…
Station 1 (The mask):
Let the Wild Rumpus begin!
Welcome to worship
What’s your monster face?
What do you stand for?
Who are you?
What does God see when God sees you?
Use these things to make your own monster mask…
Mask Kit (Mardis Gras Colour Diffusing Masks – 30 pack from Educational Experience)
Textas / Crayons
Station 2 (The boat):
Where are you coming from?
Where do you hail?
Are you running away, or running towards something?
Grab a few shipmates and build a boat to sail in…
As you build your boat share some of your travel stories with each other.
When we set sail we may song some sea shanteys together.
Whatever was around at the time
Ocean – you can see by the pictures that I used timber and on either side nailed corflute with ocean waves painted on them to make a movable ocean.
We made a much bigger boat on the first day and shrunk it down on the second.
* Adrian brought his guitar and before we finished the morning’s session we spant some time singing a few songs together
Station 3: (Gone Wild Fishing)
What do you need to let go of to be fully present this weekend?
(sometimes we need to let fish go…)
Take a fish from the net,
give it a face
some colour (make it a Wild-Thing-Fish)
Write on it’s back what you need to let go of and release the fish from the net.
Cardboard fish cutouts
Station 4: (Max the King)
Who would you crown king of (almost everything) if you had the chance
Who inspires you?
Who encourages you?
Who has your respect?
Design a crown for them,
think why you’ve made it for them
Say a prayer for their life.
Station 4.5: (Max the King)
Who’s crown would you like to remove?
Who are the powers that be you’d like to challenge?
Make a crown for them and leave a prophetic message/prayer on it for them.
Cardboard crown cutouts
Other craft stuff
* I had both options in the space at the one time, some people made two crowns, others made one, some made five…
Station 5: (Wild Forrest)
Inside all of us is hope
What is your hope
for this weekend
for your home
for the world
Make a Wild-Thing flower for your hope
Add it to the forrest
Craft Flower Cutouts
Station 6: (Wild Fire)
Lets build a fire
add some flames to the fire
on the flames write something that’s burning inside you
a burning hope?
a piece of wisdom?
Cardboard flame cutouts (orange, yellow, red)
* On the second day the singing happened around the campfire, after all, what’s a campfire without camp songs?
Station 7: (Wild Fort)
What are you waiting for?
What do you long for?
grab some stuff
grab some friends
and add some things to the forrest
trees, plants, landmarks…
How about a fort?
As you do share your great longing with each other
Or, you could just build it…
Everything in sight