December 7, 2020

In the Roman Catholic religion, is the act of confessing sins a tradition that is dying out due to the negative effect and guilt it exerts onto children and young people?

Danielle McAllister

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Plaster, fabric netting, fishing wire.Confession Box, 2020

This sculptural work titled, “Confession Box”(2020), was the resolution to a project where I explored my experiences being brought up a Roman Catholic and how it effected my self-worth and self-image later on in life. Being christened into this religion as way of life began positive in childhood, but eventually made me feel cornered and suffocated. It didn’t allow me to be myself and have my own thoughts and feelings. It brought guilt and dissociation. Materials I used in the work were significant to the overall message. Plaster cast of hands, a wax church candle and fabric netting dipped in plaster. The netting acts a mesh barrier, similar to that inside a confessional, it symbolises the physical and emotional barrier between myself and religion. The burning candle represents self guidance and the realisation of discomfort religion gave me. The wax leaks onto the hand, symbolising the impression that this religion has left on me forever. The purpose of the work is to provoke its viewers to reflect on their own experiences with religion, and to realise how it affects everyone differently. Is this religion bringing us closer to god while we drift further from ourselves?