Yards of Faith
Living on the Somerville/Medford line, I have been fascinated by the statues of the Virgin Mary, Jesus, and various saints that often decorate the yards in the neighborhood. In an era where one’s religious conviction is a private matter, I am drawn to these public proclamations of faith from a previous generation that is often the first on this side of the Atlantic. The shrines have been placed in commemoration of a loved one, of a promise made to God in a time of stress, or as a simple reminder of faith. Some of them are maintained with great care while others have fallen into neglect. They may be left behind to new owners that keep them in the yard out of respect or they disappear with a developer’s eye on modernizing.
In photographing these shrines, I have gained a connection to the neighborhood and its rich immigrant traditions.
Sally Chapman is a photographer living in the Boston area. She earned a BFA in ceramics and photography from Michigan State University. For over twenty years she worked as a ceramic artist in Colorado showing extensively in New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming. Moving to California and Massachusetts her attention went to spiritual pursuits seeing that the desire to create art is the same as the desire for spirit.
The magic of capturing images at night inspired Chapman to begin creating artwork again with the camera. Her photographic subjects are often of the urban landscape and neighborhoods. Recently she has been shown in exhibits at the Cambridge Art Association, Plymouth Center for the Arts, Photography Center of Cape Cod, Griffin Museum, and Photographic Resource Center. She is a member of the Boston Camera Club, and Greater Boston Night Photographers.
Contact Sally Chapman