2009 - Thin Places
Artist Statement: Thin Places
In search of describing the essential, intangible nature of a place, the ‘Thin Places’ series arose. My research led me to a book by Tracy Blazer on the subject and one of the writings and poems of former Irish priest, John O’Donnohue, quotations from whom appear below.
The Celts that inhabited Ireland in the centuries surrounding the time of Christ had a name for particular geographic locations where the physical and the spiritual came to touch each other in a special, almost tangible way.
In their pagan, pantheistic spirituality, they believed there were places where the line between the spirit world and the physical world was ‘tissue-paper thin’. These pagan Celts therefore referred to and revered such sites as ‘Thin Places’.
Extracted from: Tracy Blazer ‘Thin Places: An Evangelical Journey Into Celtic Christianity’
We assume too readily that we share one world with other people. It is true at the objective level that we inhabit the same physical space as other humans: the sky is, after all, the one visual constant that unites everyone’s perception of being in the world. Yet this outer world offers no access to the inner world of an individual. At a deeper level, each person is the custodian of a completely private, individual world.
Your mind is the double mirror of the outer world and of your inner world. It is always actively making pictures of things. If you lost your mind, you would lose your world as well. Your mind is so precious and vulnerable because it holds your world. Thoughts are the furniture of the mind. They are the echoes and pictures that hold your world together. This is the fascinating adventure of perception.
John O’Donohue: ‘Anam Cara’ A Book of Celtic Wisdom
John O’Donohue: ‘Eternal Echoes’. Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong