The Shrine

Sometime ago, I started working on what I am currently calling ‘The Shrine’. I am viewing this body of work as a my attempt to better understand various spiritual and/or religious traditions as well as means to expand my artistic techniques as I attempt to recreate ritual objects with ‘trash’.

This is the oddest project I have ever worked on in the sense that I feel I have so many things started, few things completed, and lots of things on the agenda I have yet to begin. In my mind, this project is huge.

First, I decided that a scared space needs good smelling candles. I made a bunch of candles utilizing discarded glass jars. I am still in the process of decorating the jars and crocheting tops for the lids.

Then I decided that I needed images to hang on walls. I utilized lots of photos I have taken over the years to create all sorts of my own scared images. I used an acrylic gel transfer technique to put some of these images on paper machete boards. Then as I got tired of gel transfers, I decided to invest in cheap frames found at Goodwill and actually had Walgreens make me some quality prints. I have lots of these in various stages of completion.

I also began building alters out of paper machete. These pieces seem to disturb Mel, my better half with whom I share a home, the most. They tend to be large and take up a good deal of space. He is often asking me what I plan to do with all this stuff since it seems impractical to keep it in our home forever. I assure him repeatedly that I have a larger plan and that he doesn’t need to worry, but truthfully I am just using up an abundance of cardboard and I plan on developing a more long term plan later. So far, I have only fully completed this one small alter.

Later I moved on to zafu mediation cushions made of plastic bags. I have already exhausted the surplus of bags Mel picked up from our local Schnucks Supermarket a number of weeks ago. I am fighting the urge to raid their recycle bin again. I keep telling myself I need to focus on finishing some alters.

My focus seems to be everywhere on this project, but I really like having lots of things going at once. Having many projects in various stages of completion allows for a sense of freedom to do whatever I feel like doing at that moment. Tired of crocheting; there’s painting to be done. Sick of painting; how about paper machete? Not feeling paper machete. No problem. There’s always producing more images for gel transfers. Not into sitting in front of a computer. How about doing some bead work for the day. In the end, I feel like it’s all going to come together. I just need some patience and the discipline to keep working.

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