St. Francis used to withdraw from others to pray and contemplate in a cave on Mount Subasio, in Assisi, Italy. The cave is now incorporated into a hermitage called the Eremo delle Carceri.
When I went to visit St. Francis’ cave, which is the main attraction, I was surprised to be so moved by the Oratory of St. Bernadine. This intimate space set aside for prayer is located on the way to St. Francis' cave. It was constructed in the 15th century and one of my guidebooks only briefly noted that it had one of “a few worn frescoes.” Yet this oratory, with its beautiful "worn fresco", was a very thin place for me.
(A thin place being a place where it feels like the divide between the Divine and human is mysteriously thinner).
I combined the image of the oratory fresco of the crucifixion with an image of a double door that lead into a small mausoleum in the cemetery in Assisi. In the middle of the doors two halves of a crown of thorns come together. A brown string held the doors together and yet there was still a small gap in between, offering a sense of accessibility.
This piece is part of the Thin Places body of work that I created after an artist residency in Assisi, Italy last year.
Size: (h x w) 16" x 16"
Media: Original digital photography on aluminum