I wanted to create a shrine for people whom I found to be great influencers in and examples of the character I would like to reflect in my life. The people I ultimately chose were diverse in many aspects, but very similar in important ways.
When looking at the piece, you will find political leaders, church leaders, movement leaders, family and friends who are leaders in their own contributions, political dissidents, and visionary artists. When I researched and created the work, I soon began to see people. Many races, ethnicities, faiths, relationships, responsibility levels, flaws, strengths, contributions, failures, temperaments were represented. What tied these individuals together for me is that all lived/live by the principles of loving their neighbor as they love themselves and loving their enemies. All showed/show the ability to fully use and embrace the four types of love, (storge, philia, eros and agape), even those who I know had no clue that there even was a philosophy on types of love, much less what they were.
While creating this shrine to my vision of saints, I pointedly chose to note those who had been publicly persecuted/prosecuted. I wanted to highlight that there is often a deep personal cost involved in living a life in love. Also, knowing that these people are all sinners of a sort (Jesus was a revolutionary in his time, branded a traitor, and executed for his crimes), gives the realization that anyone, no matter how flawed, can open themselves to the idea of living for others and become a saint in this life, even me.
This shrine was exhibited at the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport Gallery.