A shop for sacred sites? seems an oxymoron I know 🙂
You know, I love travelling, taking photos, and playing with making images, but haven’t had much time and energy for the business side (well, there is that pesky day job, not to mention studies …). However, at last I have bitten the bullet and opened up an Etsy shop. It’s not a ‘fine-art’ outlet, but I love Etsy because it’s not elitist and encourages everyday creativity, and also sells funky vintage stuff. I don’t aspire to climb any art world ladder – like so many others everyday creativity is what I do. And of course as an avid charity-shopper I love the funky vintage stuff 😉
If you haven’t checked out Etsy before, it’s an inspiring place, if you can steer clear of the kitsch (hey, I know some people LOVE kitsch). You can find my shop, sacred sites, here, or linked from my Sales page.
Although we visited Tasmania late in 2011, such is life that I have only recently been exploring the photographs taken there. It was a tantalising glimpse of an island with inspiring, changeable and atmospheric landscapes, as well as a brutal history. As a site for both the sacred and profane, it is well represented by the MONA collection of David Walsh. Here are some mandalas from this first visit, I hope to return later and spend longer.
Mandala – Cradle Mountain
Sacred sites 2: 2
Royal National Park, Sydney 2003
Sacred sites 1: 1
Sacred Sites continues a series exploring the landscape as a metaphor for human relationship to environment, culture and heritage.
In European cultures the landscape has long been depicted as a metaphor for spiritual experience. In some other cultures, Aboriginal for instance, landscape is more than a metaphor – relationship to environment is an integral part of spiritual life.
While the increasing commodification of land in our materialistic culture has alienated us from other kinds of relationship with it, the preservation of environments within publicly-owned national parks offers an opportunity to re-engage with landscape, seeking both physical connection and spiritual renewal.
This idea is not new to our culture – labyrinths of stone or turf have existed since pre-Christian times, throughout Britain and Europe, as symbols of such a connection. The architecture of Gothic cathedrals, too, reflects the awesome symmetry of arching forest branches.
This piece, based on photographs of the Royal National Park, and medieval European labyrinths, recalls these aspects of our (European) spiritual heritage, in the context of our ‘new’ environment, in all its beauty and brutality.