The spiritual accent

From home, workplace or the other interiors intimately connected with our everyday work, we proceed to the public space. How does it get its name, its meaning, its colour?

Two phenomena have accompanied humanity from its origins: art and religion. The old cult place becomes a church or a chapel, its windows and statues portraying Santa Ana, Saint George and the Dragon and other saints. The secular state takes over with public commissions: bronze, concrete, resistant "eternal" materials that should inspire safety and symbolise the strength of the new institutions.

We have become fascinated by those rural chapels to be found outside of the control of the churches, the patron and urban plans. This is public art as it emerges from the self-taught expression of farmers. In many cases, the design, location and scale reflect a natural talent for installation art, simple but effective: a concrete cube, corrugated iron, a crucifix dressed in a spider’s web. The chapel accents and transforms (or transcends) the place with its presence.

Begun as part of our own chapelbuilding research, the photographs of the chapels of Zegache reveal a breadth of expressions. Some may be technologically developed, with flashing LEDs, but the common characteristic is a sincerity of expression which sometimes borders on pure deconstruction.

In these images, we see the human need to leave a mark on one’s surroundings – and to celebrate the higher values, whether concerning the love of God, political justice, the arts or some combination of all these.