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Road Shrines: A Peripheral Blur

Pamela Flynn
Year Grant Awarded 2006

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State > NJ Zip Code > 07719
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Road Shrines: A Peripheral Blur

My project, Road Shrines: A Peripheral Blur, is based on photographs of road shrines located in New Jersey.

These images are the result of my conscious effort to make works that immortalize the shrines. This has been an interesting, convoluted process: to celebrate the object that is itself a celebration. The art cannot be/is not a celebration of the person killed, since other than what the shrine provides, I had no insight into that person or the accident when I was making the images. I only had the visual efforts of someone who marked the spot so to celebrated someone’s life/death. It is from this space that I began my project.

This art work creates a dialogue with ordinary people. We all become ordinary people when in grief. This project creates a dialogue charged by the leveling nature of grief.

Road shrines are on most highways in New Jersey. One may or may not take note of them. This project acknowledges the existence of these shrines and acknowledges the importance of each one to someone. This project explores the pain of loss. One must acknowledge the fact that someone felt compelled to erect the shrine on the place of death. This project asks the viewer to stop and listen to the silent scream of their fellow earth mate.

In part the impact of the exhibition of Road Shrines: A Peripheral Blur is created by the tension felt in the gallery as the art is viewed. These images center on someone else’s personal tragedy - a tragedy that is random in nature and can/could belong to anyone.