Sacred Spaces is a visual adventure in space, time and light. It comprises 28 works, 19 of which are now exhibited for the first time.

Ola Kolehmainen (b. 1964) got the idea for the Sacred Spaces suite when he was in Istanbul to photograph mosques built by Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan (ca. 1490–1588). The series features sacred buildings of different types in Europe.

These ancient churches, synagogues and mosques remind us of the interwoven history of the religions they represent.

Ola Kolehmainen has based his work on modern and contemporary architecture throughout his entire career. This is the first time historical buildings appear in his photographs. In the series, the perspective and architecture of the photographed sacred spaces are cut up and then reassembled. The result is a novel space that gives precedence to atmosphere and light. At the same time, the photographs seem more three-dimensional than standard architectural photographs. Although the buildings in the pictures are readily identifiable, a visitor standing in them would be unable to perceive the space and the light in the same way as here. Taking photographs of the empty buildings was a slow process that took almost four years. Every site required a carefully selected time of day at a specific time of the year to be captured on film.

This exhibition presents a complete art work in which the walls, and the sequence of spaces between them, play an intrinsic role.

The design – with its polychromatic treatment of all surfaces and the placement of artworks on these – was created by Berlin based architects Matthias Sauerbruch and Louisa Hutton.

The exhibition is curated by Claire Gould from HAM.

The exhibition is generously supported by Farrow & Ball and the Miettinen Collection.