The place has gone…

 Posted by on May 15, 2017  Add comments
May 152017
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As part of my Fine Arts intermediate year we study each of the five different disciplines taught at Canterbury University, in a rotation of two weeks each, during the first semester. I’ve just finished photography. This is the result of that project, on “place”. I didn’t know in advance what the two weeks involve, but I thought it might be the place where I felt most comfortable. Not so, it was very difficult. We all had to dig deep to express why a chosen place was important to us.

I found that writing the words was the hardest part. The words could not be captions for the photographs, and the photographs could not be illustrations for the words. I’ve used the words to title the images.

The place is the site of St Mary’s Church, Merivale, in Christchurch. I was baptised there, attended each Sunday as a school girl, and Ron and I were married there. It was damaged during the earthquakes and it was emotional to watch bulldozers demolish it. Plans for a new church were announced recently, a collaboration with another parish. I like that idea. The old church was a special place for me, and the new one will be a special place for others too.

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  3 Responses to “The place has gone…”

  1. Very touching Jenny. Meaningless to others but so meaningful to you. You have tugged at my heart strings.

  2. Before I read your words, the one thing that jumped out to me was the small ‘cross’ in the bottom left of the image which appears to be a silhouette of grass. Actually the very centre of the photograph with just the cross and the big boulder is a photograph within your photograph! Bus aside from that, now reading the words and realising that it was about a church makes it all the more poignant! Coming through the earthquakes we all experienced a lot of change not just in our personal lives but especially in the urban landscape around us, and I can totally emphasise with the loss of places that were familiar to me. It’s hard to move on and accept the ‘new’ even though it can be better in many ways that the old.

  3. Jenny, I’ve enjoyed this series, most particularly because of the constraints you worked with between the words and the image. That’s one of the parts of photography I enjoy the most – where one is photographing in a context that the viewer is potentially not aware, but has significant meaning for the photographer. That’s why for me there is always a two way conversation between the artist, the viewer and the work. Each brings their own experience, understandings and values to the party. Understanding the back story is key for me, to understand where the artist was coming from. Having singular works informed allows a greater understanding of the artist and hence the bodies of work, which brings greater depth and appreciation of other pictures and the words can be shorthand that is understood, or are superfluous as a result. Hope this makes sense!!

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