Robinson, Susan Rae
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Human beings have a long and rich history of creating sacred places. From Anasazi kivas to Gothic cathedrals, man has built an environment to suit his spiritual needs. For a lot of people, the ancient traditions are still a powerful source of inspiration, but for some, although still valuable, they lack a modern perspective. Joseph Campbell, an expert on mythology, said, "We in the West have named our God; or rather, we have had the godhead named for us in a book from a time and place that are not our own." In my sanctuary I am attempting to create a space for our own time, based on what I perceive our needs to be. In this sanctuary, the accent is on experience, attained by active exploration of the space. Joseph Campbell said people need to seek out their "own experience: not [have] faith in someone else’s." This sanctuary requires the participant to physically search the space with a small flashlight for objects, textures and images that allude to the mystery of life on earth, and beyond. The limited length of the flashlight beam demands a closer scrutiny of the space and increases the intimacy within the structure. One cannot merely shuffle along a traditional museum wall and view the area. Our culture has transformed us into passive viewers and insatiable consumers. We watch television, listen to the radio, watch sports with religious devotion, and passively glide through galleries and museums, consuming information, but gaining no experience. However, in this environment, the idea of the traditional viewer is obsolete.