Xenia is a photographic response to the 2009 investigation of Women Religious in the Catholic Church and my experience of growing up with Religious Sisters as my teachers, surrogate mothers, and mentors.
Xenia is a story of my experience growing up Catholic with women religious as my teachers, surrogate mothers, and mentors, and my response to Rome's investigation of U.S. women religious from January 2009 until April of 2015. Included in this work are photographic portraits of sisters currently ministering in the U.S., women who were in community but left after the Second Vatican Council, and the changing nature of ministry in the contemporary world. In addition to these portraits is a photographic, still-life triptych referencing the long history between art and the Catholic Church. The triptych is a representation of the call to the table and toward mutuality. It depicts a movement towards ministry and hospitality as embodied by women religious communities post Vatican II. Third, an installation piece modeled after a wooden prayer box used in convents of the past to pray for deceased sisters holds “take away” vigil candles. Lastly, I hand construct prayer cards made from linocuts and oil paint to create mono and ghost prints on paper referencing the mass-produced devotional or holy cards used throughout Church history. These prayer cards interpret my time with various congregations and their particular charisms. The work is meant to introduce and educate our contemporary society to the quiet humanitarian works of these courageous women through a public art practice.