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Alys Tomlinson Ex-Voto Exhibition

  • Side Gallery 5-9 Side Newcastle upon Tyne, England, NE1 3JE United Kingdom (map)
Alys Tomlinson Ex-Voto Exhibition at Side Gallery 2019.

Alys Tomlinson Ex-Voto Exhibition at Side Gallery 2019.

A handwritten note neatly folded and hidden in the crevice of a rock, crosses etched onto stone, ribbon carefully wrapped around piles of twigs. These are all offerings of religious devotion, known as ‘Ex-Voto’ and found at Christian pilgrimage sites worldwide. Often placed anonymously and hidden from view, pilgrims leave ex-votos as expressions of hope and gratitude, creating a tangible narrative between faith, person and the landscape.

Taken at the pilgrimage sites of Lourdes (France), Ballyvourney (Ireland) and Grabarka (Poland), the project encompasses formal portraiture, large format landscape and small, detailed still-lifes of the objects and markers left behind. Shot on 5×4, large format film, the images evoke a distinct stillness and reflect the mysterious, timeless quality present at these sites of great spiritual devotion. People and landscape merge as place, memory and history entwine.

Curated by Liz Hingley / Sirkka Liisa Konttinen