This coming November, I’m participating in a show called ‘Altars, Shrines and Curiosities. This is an update on how the piece is developing.
Title: Cedar Spirit House
Artist: J. I. Rogers
Concept: For the show Altars, Shrines and Curiosities, I wanted to create a distinctly North American version of the Eastern Spirit House. I discovered as I completed the main form that I couldn’t ignore my love of the mythological or Faerie worlds. The inscribing and spirals that adorn the outer shell are a personal tribute to those aspects. To accomplish the remainder of my vision, I not only sought recycled local materials for its construction but for the internal elements as well.
What emerged, is what you see here.
Cedar Spirit House Materials: Recycled cedar stump, recycled cedar lumber, and a reclaimed cedar branch.
Cedar Spirit House Furnishings: Handmade pottery, raven feathers and other ‘found or repurposed’ treasures.
Inspiration: What is a ‘Spirit House’?
“A spirit house is a “place for the tevoda-spirit”, or pteah phum, “house for the spirit of the land”) is a shrine to the protective spirit of a location. It is found in the Southeast Asian countries of Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand. Most houses and businesses have a spirit house placed in an auspicious spot, most often in a corner of the property. The location may be chosen after consultation with a Brahmin priest. The spirit house usually takes the form of a miniature house or temple and is mounted on a pillar or on a dais.
The house is intended to provide a shelter for spirits that could cause problems for the people if not appeased. The shrines often include images of people and animals. Votive offerings are left at the house to propitiate the spirits. More elaborate installations include an altar for this purpose.
While the Thai version was the original spark of inspiration for this project, spirit houses are global phenomena. Shrines designed with similar intent appear on almost every continent. An example – the Dakehl, otherwise known as the Carrier people of Northern British Columbia use Spirit Houses for burial rites and rituals. The Spirit Houses contain artifacts family and clan members have deposited for their loved one’s life on the other side and they are used to be unknown and have bad spirits in them.”
~ paraphrased from Wiki, additions by J. I. Rogers
This piece is still being refined. I’ll post a completed image when it’s done.