Ali Naschke-Messing’s Full Moon Meditations

For five months of the Thresholds of Faith exhibition, Ali Naschke-Messing hosted monthly meditations – both walking and sitting – of different durations. Some days were “sits” inside her site-responsive installation; other days were walks through St. Ignatius Cathedral in the under-seen parts of the church. Participants were taught simple techniques to awaken awareness of body and place. Ali invited people to explore presence at its core, within and without.


Thursday, February 13th | 4 PM
Ali Naschke-Messing Meditation, St. Ignatius Church

Saturday, March 15th | 4 PM
Ali Naschke-Messing Meditation, St. Ignatius Church

Tuesday, April 15th | 4 PM
Ali Naschke-Messing Meditation, St. Ignatius Church

Sunday, May 11th | 4 PM
Ali Naschke-Messing Meditation, St. Ignatius Church

Sunday, June 1st | 4 PM
Ali Naschke-Messing Meditation, St. Ignatius Church


The original light, blazing through your skull

and how does light fall into your body?
from many points to many others, large and larger.
(yes, she said, light lines being the same as psalms)
the flow of speech, as it were, in a straight line,
for a stringed instrument.

Naschke-Messing is primarily a site-responsive installation artist. She creates spatially quiet moments and reminds us to look carefully at what surrounds us. This installation extends the gold leafed dome, inverting the emanating source of light. Ali questions the traditional religious trope of light portrayed as descending from the heavens and creates an inverted conic form, inspired from the light that emanates from all life. The floating gold leaf fragments can be seen as coming from above and below, constantly turning and responding to air currents via breathe and movement. On the floor is a custom made “zabutan,” or cushion, for people to lie and sit upon. The black bolsters will be used as supports for sitting meditations that she will host throughout the exhibition. Gallery visitors and parishioners may use this space for contemplation and rest.

This work draws attention to, and extends, the already existing beauty inherent to the site at St. Ignatius, highlighting that which is already present, but often goes unseen. The attempt to describe the indescribable is a theme in Ali’s work and comes from her connection to that which underlies and comprises all experience.


Ali Naschke-Messing is a native Californian, currently living in San Francisco. She holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, and an MFA from California College of the Arts, with a focus in textiles. She was awarded an Affiliate Artist position at the Headlands Center for the Arts from 2011-203, was selected as an Emerging Artist by the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art in 2012, and was an Irvine Fellow at the Montalvo Arts Center in 2010. She has recently shown at ProArts, Artadia, Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, San Jose Institute for Contemporary Art, Montalvo Arts Center, The Headlands, College of Marin, and San Francisco State University.