This crucifix used to be planted on my Dad’s farm in Slovenia. Placed between two Linden trees, which are a symbol of Slovenia now, although during the war I’m not sure they were known for that then. I returned in November this year and was stunned to come across this magnificent crucifix hidden away, out of sight. I asked why it was there and found out that after the war ended, the winners, (Partisan Communists) marched through the village shouting “death to the whites”. They also tore the crucifix down and threw it into the road. My father, his sisters and friends had already fled and were on their way to Austria. My grandfather, who had stayed behind, took the crucifix and hid it to protect it and it has remained there to this day over 70 years later. This brings to mind one thing that I have noticed, that the old farmhouse has a very large amount of crucifixes, rosaries and pictures of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. This is probably quite usual in Slovenia, but is quite amazing to me. There is even a small cross cut out of the barn wall, letting in light. Knowing this and reading Dad’s diaries of that time, I can see just how important their faith was. It was a religious war for my Dad.
The two London trees were both later struck by lightning and had to be chopped down. I was hoping to link it to an act by God, but there doesn’t seem to be any connection between the two events.
I used lighting to light the cross for the picture, because it was so dark and hard to see. I do have another photo of it lit by available light, ( after opening the door) but this photo is more beautiful. To me, there is something quite sad and moving about seeing the abandoned cross.
I should count my blessings, its a great problem to have, to be selected for two exhibitions at the same time. They are both for London Photo Month and being exhibited with lots of other photos. Shutterhub has my photo of a wrapped up carousel and LIP is showing my new photo about my father and Slovenia, called forgiveness. I’ll be going to both private views of course!
“Forgiveness” is a photo of my Dads farm, where he grew up, alongside a recent interview with him about his feelings about what happened to him after the second world war.. “Prayer to the devil” is actually a letter I wrote to the Pope, but the reference to the devil is in the letter itself. I do worry that my letter might make me look a bit foolish, but it is actually how I feel and what I did. I received a kind reply but it doesn’t actually answer my questions, it suggests I go to a local priest. I have further questions now, what penance would be given to those who executed unarmed defenceless Catholics in revenge for war? Or those who fought the war with the germans? Did Tito, an atheist actually ask for forgiveness and who from? What sort of people go to heaven? Surely it can’t be possible to send a good man like my dad to hell, even if he can’t forgive those who tortured him and executed his friends.
These two latest photos are using much more text. I find the subject so complex that I can’t find any other way to do them. It has made me think quite deeply about why text with a photo might be different from using a video with sound and visuals. also which might be better and why. I am also editing the video interview but I haven’t finished that yet. I haven’t reached any conclusions as to which is better, but I have understood some of the differences. Obviously watching a video enables one to see and hear the emotion in the voice and person, this is absent from just text with a photo. However, if one reads text then the words are being internalised and the reader is saying them as though saying it themselves. I’m not sure which one would bring about greater empathy as I know that when I read text, I read it to myself in a monotone voice. I am also too close to the subject to be objective in my analysis. This is something I need to experiment with.
Looking forward to Fertility Fest and delighted to part of it. Its a wonderful supportive event that talks about fertility and modern families. It’s a much bigger event than in 2016. I’m presenting my art project “Photos I’ll never take” on Saturday 12th May. This time, as well as photos, I’ll also have some videos.
150 artists are taking part and it runs for six days. It included a week long workshop in February, at the National Theatre, exploring fertility education, which I was proud to be part of, and also includes an exhibition in Barcelona in July, which I also hope to be part of.
Will be taking part in a webinar today. As part of the “We are worthy” summit. Its from 5pm to 6pm. The event is run by Nicci and Andrew Fletcher, who publish a magazine called- “The childless not by choice.”
Here is the link for the webinar- https://weareworthysummit.com
Here is the link for Fertility fest 2018- https://www.fertilityfest.com