We see the old and familiar anew in Peter Li’s panoramic photographs of church interiors. “I think symmetry is a major factor for these images to work,” Peter tells us, “also the high ceilings and repeating arches further emphasise the scale of these interior spaces.”
That creeping religiosity you experience whenever you sit in a church is there. Temples give form and access to God, and here in Peter Li’s digital world we see a fuller picture. No looking down, of course, that for an other time, and most likely in a post marked ‘NSFW’. This is about going up and out into the rib-like struts, seduced by light in the flashes of high, illuminated windows.
No longer merely old and curative, those giant churches in our towns and cities are not just hangovers from a bygone age when people coerced by guilt, shame, the milieu and showy expiation, for whom God literally was stone-written, went inside to give thanks and pray. In Li’s images the church lives. It might even be said to breathe, but that could be going too far. You can get carried away in a big church. Those architects knew how to put you in your place.
“I have always had a soft spot for classic architecture. The craftsmanship and décor are rarely found in modern architecture. ‘Omniscience’ is a project to explore interior spaces of extraordinary beauty. Historical buildings are reminiscent of our history – they are intrinsically timeless and, in many ways, otherworldly. People often visit these places to clear their mind.
“Observing a three-dimensional space in its entirety gives us a view/perspective beyond what the eye can see. It breaks us from reality, plays with our perception of shape and form and creates a sense of another world.”
– Peter Li