“Symbolic images are more than data: they are vital seeds, living carriers of possibility.”
A photographic friend of mine working in Australia has completed a body of work entitled “Concrete”. My friend has Parkinson’s Disease. One of the effects of Parkinson’s Disease is the loss of fine muscle control in the face – which means that the subtleties of facial expression and the subsequent connections that we make through reading these nuances is hidden.
My friend wanted to show what it is like to have intense emotion inside you and yet have people struggle to read your face and know how you were feeling. He asked his models to consider an emotion that they would express only through their eyes, without using facial muscle cues. He then asked the models to dunk their faces into a bucket of water, pull out their head and immediately focus their emotion through their eyes directly at his lens. The series of images he recorded showed how he feels about being stuck in his body:
“My face is like concrete. I know that I am smiling, but no one can see it. When I am sad, only my tears give it away. What if you were me? How would you connect, if you only had your eyes and your mouth was closed? What if? ”
All of the above preamble leads to my posted image. I began to think about the ways we might be stuck in “Concrete” in our own lives – through our mental stagnation or our physical situations.