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These works are photo-based images inspired by medieval illuminated manuscripts called Books of Hours. During the late Middle Ages, the Book of Hours developed as a popular devotional text for the laity, who would recite the particular prayer for the hour of the day and time of year according to the ecclesiastical calendar. Before the invention of printing from moveable type, around 1455, all books were written by a scribe on parchment or paper, though they were not always decorated.
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The accompanying illuminations and miniatures of saints, the Virgin Mary, and Christ were not merely decoration; they provided an opportunity for spiritual reflection and prayer for salvation. Such precious books were treasured by families, and bequeathed to subsequent generations. For this reason, more Books of Hours have survived to this day than any other manuscript books, including the Bible.
The book of hours can be seen as a church calendar and day planner of prayer; it helps to organize time throughout the year and to structure daily devotion. At prescribed hours, the reader would contemplate specific texts and/or images, depending upon which office was being observed. For example, the illumination for Compline, the last canonical hour, might show the Entombment of Christ. The work was meant to inspire devotional meditation at the end of the day. (from http://aurora.wellesley.edu/BookOfHours/bookhome.html)
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My contemporary version of the Book of Hours, while not a religious text, utilises images of British Columbia landscape and nature, in combination with portraits, to create works that offer a means of meditation, reflection, or contemplation of human fragility and our embeddedness in the natural world.
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