14.8 x 10 cm single postcard featuring The Lamp of Sacrifice, 286 Places of Worship, Edinburgh 2004 by Nathan Coley from the National Galleries of Scotland Collection.
The Lamp of Sacrifice, 286 Places of Worship, Edinburgh 2004 is an installation of sculptures made up of all 286 religious and spiritual buildings that were listed in the 2004 Edinburgh Yellow Pages directory under places of worship.
Coley adopted the idea of an architectural Lamp of Sacrifice' from the Victorian artist and critic John Ruskin (1819–1900), who wrote in his famed 1849 essay The Seven Lamps of Architecture. It is not the church we want, but the sacrifice... ." Coley explores Ruskin's idea that buildings and architecture are two separate things - one being functional and the other art.
Coley strips all religious insignia from the buildings and reconstructs them to scale in simple brown cardboard. He unites the buildings as one group or community.
Nathan Coley (born 1967 in Glasgow, Scotland) is a contemporary British artist who was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2007. He studied Fine Art at Glasgow School of Art between 1985 and 1989 and currently works in Glasgow. Coley's work is predominantly concerned with the way in which architecture reflects and conditions the social environment.