Wednesday, February 27, 2013


The Basilica of St. Francis is a structure with three levels.  Each descending level grows more simple. The Italian Gothic upper church, built upon an existing church, is the most ornate with brilliant frescoes by Giotto of the life of St. Francis.  The lower church, is smaller, darker, and more intimate, with more humble frescos.  Below this is the crypt that contains the tomb of St. Francis.  This rough hewn space with simple adornments, low lighting, and few distractions turned out to be a quiet space of contemplation for me. 

I used an image of a cross candle holder from the crypt and overlayed it with a photo of a long stone hallway from the fortress, Rocca Maggiore (which is lit sparingly by arrow slits and a few lights), to echo the sense of the deep quiet in the reflective crypt space. 

This is part of the Thin Places body of work created from my artist residency in Assisi, Italy last year. 

Size: (h x w) 20" x 16"
Media: original digital photography

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


The medieval arched gate seen in this piece is the Porta Cappuccini.  It was built in Assisi around 1316 and is still sound (cars drive through it!).  I overlayed this image with a shot of the winding dirt road that leads to the Arte Studio Ginestrelle, where I stayed for my artist residency.  These images were paired to convey the feel of wandering, of not knowing what lies ahead, and of the intrigue that drives us on. 

Size (h x w) 24" x 18"
Media: Phototransfered digital photography on panel with pastels

Friday, February 15, 2013


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

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


While wandering around Assisi, Italy I happened upon this wonderfully chaotic little gallery. The gallery was closed, but I could not resist checking out the different pieces of artwork in this dusty nook.  It was filled with assorted relics of creativity and exuded a captivating sense of history. I resonated with the feel of the place so I took a photo through the bars that were closing it off. I overlaid the photo with an image of a medieval balcony that echoed the artistry and time worn beauty found within the gallery.

This is one of the pieces from the Thin Places body of work that I created as a result of my artist residency in Assisi in 2012.

Size: (h x w) 14" x 18"
Media: phototransfer on arches paper

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Round

In Assisi there were many sensory experiences that were thin places for me.
One of the most memorable was hearing the bells that would start to ring slowly and then quicken triumphantly as other bells joined in and rang in a round throughout the town.

It is the beauty of those bells ringing that inspired this piece. I incorporated a photo of the Basilica of St. Francis (where I was first stunned by the beauty of the bells) along with a close up of the bells in the campanile or bell tower.

This is part of my Thin Places body of work created after an artist residency in Assisi, Italy last year.

Size: (h x w) 16" x 20"
Media: Original digital photography on canvas

Saturday, February 2, 2013


The background image of this piece was taken on top of Mount Subasio in Assisi, Italy.  This mountain, where Saint Francis used to retreat to a cave to pray, is considered by locals as sacred. One pamphlet notes that Mount Subasio has been shaped by “the religious paths that have been moulding these landscapes for centuries...”  It seemed like a good explanation of this thin place.

I layered an image of an arched doorway (from the hilltop fortress Rocca Maggiore) over the photo from Mount Subasio.  I wanted to offer a glimpse of this landscape that has been moulded into a beautiful thin place.

This piece is part of my Thin Places body of work created as a result of an artist residency in Assisi, Italy.

Size: (h x w) 30" x 20"
Media: original digital photography on canvas