‘All nature is capable of revealing itself as cosmic sacrality. The cosmos in its entirety can become a hierophany…a manifestation of the sacred in some ordinary object…’ (Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane)
In today’s society, the term ‘shrine’ is used (especially by the media) to describe all manner of sites – from Ground Zero to Kensington Palace – which originated from events as 9/11 and Lady Diana’s death. These ‘spontaneous’ shrines act as a conduit for pilgrims coming to pay their respects and outpour their emotions.
The shrines, with the paraphernalia that accumulates at each site (candles, ribbons, messages, mascots), give a sense of order to a situation which at the time the public find hard to comprehend.
Shrines act as a point of arrival for individuals on a pilgrimage, and these images act as part one of a three part project on pilgrimage. The other two parts focussing on the journey and the pilgrim. I have primarily focused on shrines in Europe but eventually will travel further afield and record shrines from different creeds and countries.