I was profoundly moved recently to read about the carbon ‘imprint’ of a man who had been sitting on the stone steps outside the Sumitomo bank in Hiroshima when the bomb fell at 8.15am on 6th August 1945.
The ‘shadow’ left by his body was visible for many years until time and weather all but erased it. “Receiving the rays directly, the victim must have died on the spot from massive burns. The surface of the surrounding stone steps was turned whitish by the intense heat rays. The place where the person was sitting became dark like a shadow.” Google Cultural Institute
When the new bank was built, the steps were taken to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and an etching of the ‘shadow’ was created in memory of that fateful day when so many lives were ruined or — depending on your point of view — many more were potentially saved.
Whether this happenstance was in my subconscious when I decided to do something with Paul Earle’s photograph of deer in Bushy Park, Hampton (near London), I cannot say. If you like to ‘read’ things into other people’s work, you might say it’s my stand against the destruction of nature and wildlife where the planet will soon be a world of just such shadows.
My tongue is slightly in my cheek because I’m always amused by the things the critics read into the work they’re discussing and the ideas they attribute to the creator. I can just imagine the said artist or writer looking down from above and pooh-poohing the symbolism being expounded. “Oh, don’t be ridiculous — I wasn’t thinking anything of the kind!”
The deer in Earle’s original photograph are already in silhouette but putting the image in Linear Burn mode over the Ancient times 20 texture by 2 Lil’ Owls has increased the effect and given the image a rich, vibrant hue that you could say portends future atomic destruction!
Take care and keep laughing!