© S. Billie Mandle
I love this photo by the photographer S. Billie Mandle. I met Billie at Review Santa Fe this summer, and we had a fun (and for me, enlightening!) conversation about teaching. Billie teaches at the Massachusetts College of Art, and was gracious in her advice about all things relating to students, performance and expectations. Here's Billie's artist statement about the series from which the photograph comes:
These photographs were made in confessionals, the small rooms found in Catholic churches where people confess their sins. Most major religions have theologies of repentance -- what makes the confessional unusual is that it acts as a physical manifestation of an abstract idea. It gives form and structure to the interiority of penance. The walls and kneelers embody the thoughts and prayers of the penitents, and the penitents in turn leave their mark on the confessional. I am interested in how the photographs, as physical objects, might speak to what is intangible and ineffable about these spaces.