Artist: Ben Cittadini
The Dandenong Book of Prayer is a book by artist Ben Cittadini that contains personal prayers by local people and recent photos of central Dandenong. It was published in 2010.
Cittadini initially surveyed people at Palm Plaza on a range of topics, but it was the answer to one of his questions: “How often do you think about God?” that led to the creation of the prayer book.
Cittadini said the response by ninety-nine percent of people surveyed was 'All the time'.
“I began to wonder - what do people in Dandenong pray for when they pray for themselves, or for others? What would it reveal and would people be willing to share these prayers with others?”
A donation box was established in the Dandenong Library with a book of tickets for people to write their prayers. The box quickly filled and some 55 prayers were contributed, offering a fascinating insight into the everyday dreams and hopes of the community.
At the same time, Cittadini took photos in central Dandenong, to document spaces and buildings in the process of being revitalised.
The book brings together the everyday thoughts of a community which is living in an environment undergoing significant change. It presents these thoughts with photos of familiar and less known buildings and spaces and presents a snapshot in time.