A Journey in Pilgrimage
North, South, East, and West: directions on a compass. For thousands of years these directions have helped people travel, often embarking on a secular or sacred pilgrimage. A pilgrimage is the spiritual adaptation of these four directions, enlightening oneself or a group in order to share a purpose or belief through the metaphysical. A pilgrimage is not just about the thrill of the journey, but rather the individual finding a new understanding of themselves. Pilgrimages span thousands of miles, cultures, religions and continents, giving travellers numerous opportunities to create memories and experiences.
It is important to examine these journeys in a broader sense: as not just religious but also secular; as emotional experiences with vibrant memories; as complicated journeys with special destinations. The one uniting commonality between every pilgrimage is the overarching desire to seek a greater experience in order to undergo a spiritual change. No matter where the souls compass takes ones, the point is about gaining something that personally connects one to the world.
Pilgrims are historically driven by non-secular motives. In this exhibit you will learn of journeys to Mecca in order to seek enlightenment, as well as Christian pilgrims who travel to Lourdes, France for physical and spiritual relief. You will follow a father and daughter duo as they wind their way through Spain along the Santiago de Compostela. Also trek to New York City to experience a secular ‘holy ground’ and wind your way through the hills of Japan along the sacred Kansai Kannon pilgrimage. Furthermore, work your way through desolate Northern Utah to experience a personal pilgrimage at the Spiral Jetty.
Today we examine pilgrimages in a broader sense, encouraging you to turn the traditional idea of a pilgrimage on its head. Join us as we invite you to become a pilgrim as well, following in the footsteps of time. As you explore the gallery, ask yourself: What is a pilgrimage to you?