Impossible Shrines, 2018/2019
Terra cotta clay from Travelers Rest, SC, Thai kozo paper, Remington Quiet-Riter type, sugar, wire
5.5’ x .5’ x 5.5'
This piece was installed off-site in downtown New Bedford, exposed to the elements in January/February 2019.
The roadside Virgin Mary shrine has never had cause to disappoint. Always a point of fascination, looking back at the Catholic iconography of my childhood, the best ones employ a bathtub to shield the Holy Mother in an intimate grotto. She is honoured, secure and provides a source of comfort for the residents on whose land she resides.
Each element of this piece tells a story. The sugar reflects warmth in domesticity, and the bathtub of cleansing and absolution. The paper is thin like a veil and bears the type of my mother’s 1950s Remington Quiet-Riter. The action of counting spaces between letters typing mimics the repetition of saying the rosary: Ten Hail Marys. One Our Father. Ten Hail Marys. Devotion and penance.