Book of Prayer (Ongoing)
(Size: each photograph 20"x24")
Book of Prayer is a collection of photographic records of prayer meetings between strangers. Accompanying texts may include narration from participants: individual accounts of the meetings, recited prayers, religious writings, anecdotes, personal histories, and expressions of beliefs.
I formally began this project with an open call on social media in January 2022, welcoming anyone, regardless of faith or affiliation, to participate in an editorial project exploring the act of prayer. Participants are asked to invite a stranger into their home, offer a prayer for them, and receive a prayer in return. The form and content of the encounters is open, and may include a traditional prayer employing a particular belief system, or a meditation, affirmation, performance, or personal ritual. Using still photography, I will quietly document the interactions.
To arrange meetings, I draw names from a collective jar, forming purely random pairings of people to engage in prayer meetings. In the presence of strangers, I have witnessed people openly weep, grasp hands, embrace, disclose fears, confess guilt, laugh together, and generously bless one another. Participants mine their own traditions for meaningful expressions of peace, like washing feet, performing a sacred drum ceremony, or anointing with oil. In years of research, made tangible in these encounters, I have found remarkable consonance inintention between different religions, largely demonstrated by motives rooted in tenderness and peace.
A Prayer for Snowball the Dead Hamster, from the series Book of Prayer, pigment ink on fiber rag, 20x24", 2022