“What I remember most about my childhood is holding your hand. My wee hand in your big hand.”
I was in the North Island at Lake Waikarimoana at a workshop last year and came, with more than a little encouragement from Tony Bridge, to the realisation the being a good Kiwi lad I had never dealt with the sudden death of my father just over 10 years ago.
I always felt I had, so over the week I set out to investigate this further through my image making.
If you have never been to Lake Waikarimoana it's a very peaceful and spiritual place as well as a place of awesome beauty, just the kind of place you can get away from life and just begin to think……………………………………………..
I started to feel at one with his spirit, as if I was somehow able to communicate with him, don't get me wrong I wasn't hearing voices or the like just had a sense of him being around me. A sense of calmness.
The morning I made this image we ventured down by the lake to a spot I hadn't investigated before, it was still dark so torch in hand I wandered round the lake until something made me feel it was time to stop. I had no idea why and a fellow photographer, Pauline Neilson, asked as she passed what I was looking at. I had no real answer it just felt the right place to stop. I clicked away as you do not really feeling I was getting anywhere and a bit scared for some reason to stop photographing.
It wasn't until later on in post processing that the reason literally jumped off the screen at me.
The cross in the image hadn't been visible to my eye but, to me anyway, immediately came to represent the spirit of my Dad. It was quite a frightening moment when it first emerged to me but it really made me appreciate visually what I had been feeling all that week. I'm glad I stopped on that spot on that day.
Today is my birthday, another one rolls around, so I guess there is no more appropriate time to post this image and dedicate it to my “Old Fella”. I miss you Dad!!!!