Religious statues and grottos are commonly found in housing estates, schools, crossroads, churches, railway crossings and town squares throughout Ireland. Many were erected in the Marian year of 1954 as a celebration of Mary and to protect an area and bless the people around them.
They are also a place for local communities to gather and pray the rosary together. Since 1954, their popularity has decreased, with the brief exception of July 1985 when the statue of Mary in Ballinspittle in Co. Cork was reported to have spontaneously moved.
The second Marian year in 1987 was less popular.
Although a small number of people still tend to the upkeep of these religious sites, the landscape of Ireland has evolved and greatly changed around them.
Over the last two years I have been travelling the country exploring the present relationship between these statues and their surroundings. This series of ten images is a selection of work from this ongoing project.
The project was shot on a Mamiya 7, 6x7 medium format film camera, except for the first photograph, which is a digital image.
These photographs are printed 8x6 inches on Photo Rag Baryta 315 paper at RightBrain fine art printing, Co. Cork and framed by Hang Tough Framing in Dublin.
Weekend portfolio selected by Jean-Luc Monterosso.