It’s commonly called a “devotional area”. Often the statue is recessed in a niche or alcove. The purpose of this area is to honor and show devotion to the saint represented.
“The beauty of the images moves me to contemplation, as a meadow delights the eyes and subtly infuses the soul with the glory of God.” St. John Damascene
The votive candles (“votive” is derived from the Latin word “votivus”, from “votum”, which means “vow”) represent our prayers of intention, thanksgiving, or to “show devotion to the things vowed to God or the saints in some trouble or crisis of life…or to things presented in gratitude for a recovery or deliverance without having been previously promised.”
*Catechism of the Catholic Church * sections 1161-1162, 2502
Shedding Light on Votive Candles