I’ve always liked the shrine of the blessed mother for its incongruous quirkiness and the odd intimacy that is the result of such a strange and out of the way place. I never really saw it as a potent spiritual place though. I wanted to make it more important to me and bend the homage it was paying toward something that felt truer to myself. I think Mary is strange. I’m not the first person to notice that when worshiping femaleness and motherhood we tend to prefer a sanitized version. The most holy mother in history wasn’t allowed to actually have had sex. There’s a lot of aspects of motherhood that are dirty and bodily and visceral. I think the catholic expression of pure motherhood and the suburban ideal of motherhood are very connected and both present a picture of women that is cut down and denies the real experience that makes the passage of life through women’s bodies so badass. I used the shrine to Mary to compare the clean capitalist reproduction of domestic values with the visceral bodily reproduction of human life. Although the first is what is traditionally worshipped I feel much more indebted and beholden to the second. I created my own small ritual in a space paying tribute to the holy mother that felt good to me. Through domestic routine, a carcass and some reimagined multifaceted Holy Mothers I tried to touch on all the sides of this that felt important. Ritual, domesticity, bodies and fluids, gruesome as daily experience and deep casual intimacy.