Yards of Faith

Living on the Somerville/Medford line, I have been fascinated by the statues of the Virgin Mary, Jesus, and various saints that often decorate the yards in the neighborhood. In an era where one’s religious conviction is a private matter, I am drawn to these public proclamations of faith from a previous generation that is often the first on this side of the Atlantic. The shrines have been placed in commemoration of a loved one, of a promise made to God in a time of stress, or as a simple reminder of faith. Some of them are maintained with great care while others have fallen into neglect. They may be left behind to new owners that keep them in the yard out of respect or they disappear with a developer’s eye on modernizing.

In photographing these shrines, I have gained a connection to the neighborhood and its rich immigrant traditions.