I haven't worked my way mentally through that bit of observation yet, and it still knits my eyebrows. These relics, these objects, have such enormous power over people. Each object has a spiritual significance to a vast sea of humanity, but it means something different to each person. The reaction to such objects is as individual and varied as the spirituality of every human being.
The tactile relationship between the viewer and the sacred object comes into play often, and it is designed into the casing for each one. Visitors are invited to reach into a gilded void to touch the ground where Jesus was born; worshipers may crawl beneath a stone table to feel the stone which held the cross; pilgrims walking the way of the cross can lay their palm on the stone where Jesus placed his hand as he staggered under the weight of the cross (the stone is deeply indented in the shape of a hand from the wear of touches from millions of people).
While these gorgeous and elaborate homes for relics are designed and presented for all of human kind, it is a strange juxtaposition to witness the highest beauty man can muster fixed as house for an object that holds the unmatched beauty and sacredness of nature itself.
In my works, I use natural objects of personal spiritual significance as "relic". These three new pieces feature deer bones, a stone, and a large wasp, each encased in beeswax. The vessels are left open for touch. As the hands of viewers explore the works, the objects will change--the bones will become cleaner and may eventually yellow from the oils; the stone will become smooth and develop shine; the wasp will crackle and break, leaving only the parts encased in beeswax untouched by the viewer. The beeswax will also change through touch and erode, eventually releasing each object from the piece.