Sacred Spaces and Public Places - 06 May 2020

If asked, I know that one of my friend’s sacred spaces would be the ground floor of Selfridges, Trafford Centre.

I know because I see it in her face. As we step from the brown marbled floor and into the all-white cavity, which alludes a heavenly realm. My friend is awash with a fresh sense of optimism and pure joy, because for her; this is where the good stuff happens.

Another friend climbs at least one mountain a week, besides being a personal challenge, for them mountains are a magical place where problems dissolve, they become present in the act of climbing and are rewarded with a changing view of nature that not everyone gets to experience.

Just a few examples of spaces that are sacred to these individuals. Spaces that supply the energy that they need at that time.  They are also spaces that they cannot visit during lockdown.

For artists, our studios are often our sacred space. In busy homes and busy lives, we steel space to use as our own, where we can create and think and be with ourselves. There’s a pause and a power generated when we encounter the space, that we get to shape for ourselves.

Creating opportunities for the products of our mind to have a physical presence – if we’re lucky.

“Your ability to control access to a place is perhaps the most important part of sanctity,”

Richard Hecht

The lockdown has created a need for some of us to find new sacred spaces. New public spaces, unrestricted admission, for an hour at least. Spaces that have become vital to our wellbeing. Spaces that we previously took for granted or did not even notice are now becoming of some value. We hold the power to create our own sacred space, outlining the boundaries which becomes a threshold to transition into whatever we need it to be. We may have lost some control, but we have strengthened bonds and developed community with the ones sharing it.

It’s been interesting over the past few weeks, seeing the new old places that people have adopted, nurtured or developed into spaces that they need now.

Whether it’s within the home, or outside in the public realm, there are new opportunities for us in these spaces to question; what does it all mean?

We are NOT trying to find the ‘bright side’ of this crisis, there is no clear way to make sense of a global pandemic. But we want to help to make sure that should this happen again, the people and communities that have suffered the most are more resilient to its effects.

We deliver work along the Fylde Coast, but are interested in hearing from people living in different areas too. Join the debate –@LeftCoastUK #LeftCoastDebates

Sacred Spaces and Public Places - Responses