“It’s a blazing day outside and the body screams for ocean. Cool and crystalline relief as salted water evaporates and skin dries firm like a mud mask. Repetition of hot – cold becomes an experience quite sublime, cooled bared midriff meeting baking concrete. Waterlogged eyelashes squint through the glare, sun flares meeting water droplets to form tiny rainbows across my view. It was just such a lazy day and I started to look at all things through these salty, watered eyes.
(All images in this collection are available on Archival Cotton paper or Archival Cotton Rag in white frame with artist’s signature and are part of a series of 11).
Is what we see really there, or do we conjure illusions? Like the way your mind tells you everything is in full focus when it really isn’t all at once, or when it fills in detail in the shadows of the trees when you’re walking in the dark and upon closer scrutiny you see the shadows give no detail whatsoever and all that can be seen is a mass of black with tiny white spots firing in the back of your retina. (try this and you will be surprised!)
I remember setting up the camera at waist height and shooting a series of images off all in seconds upon seeing the little girl run after the pigeons in the middle of Dubrovnik square to watch them take flight. (girl chasing pigeons, pg 10, ‘Bullethole Sunrise – an exploration of memory’, Wrethman, S.) It is amazing how the brain can spring into action, something of the scene touched me and caused me to capture the images I wanted that would later express, embodied in a still two dimensional reproduction, the tangible experience of that moment. (All images have been constructed and composed in the camera and no digital manipulation has been added).
By using shaking and slow shutter speeds for most of the shoot the final images become the better representation of the memory retrieved in my mind of the original experience when compared to the static detailed documentary that a camera can provide. The watery renditions of the original scene are more truthful, more accurate in recollection than any clear, more informative image would have provided. And so began the study of how the human mind recollects and remembers scenes and moments. Not with clarity, but always with a blurred, distorted wonder.
The title? Dubrovnik, one of the oldest towns in Croatia has a rich history and a pertinent story to tell as it has made its transition from civil war to independence. The title is a reflection of the state most of the physical city is in, walls still covered in bullet holes and blastings. Although the city carries reminders of war, the atmosphere is filled with peace and new prospects. It is this carefree and jovial sentiment, together with the sense of peace you feel when entering the city today that sings out to be captured and remembered.”
– An amended abstract from the book and fine art photographic exhibition “Bullethole Sunrise – an exploration of memory” by Sonja Wrethman.
Framed pieces are approximately 60x90cm or 90x120cm. Other sizes also available.