For two years, British photographer Jason Oddy has been seeking out places of worship in airports. He calls these chapels “non-spaces”— “They’re box-like, neutral, bland and pathetic.” So why shoot them? Oddy says he’s attracted to their “almost absurd lack of beauty.” The rooms are for the most part designed to be firmly non-denominational.
But even when an airport has different spaces for designated faiths, Oddy says, they still
tend to look the same: grey with a cross; grey with a menorah, grey with a qibla—sparse and austere subjects for a photographer.
He has, on occasion, run afoul of worshippers: while shooting at Gatwick, the 34year-old Oddy recalls, a “firebrand Catholic worshipper starting shouting at me for taking a photograph.” For the most part, though, he says he rarely runs into visitors to the chapels, although airport chaplains say the places of worship are well used-by travellers as well as airport staff in search of moments of spiritual solitude.
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