Saturday, September 17, 2011


"Maria is the daughter of Mark’s friend, they thought it would be a nice idea for her to come in and see disabled people actively involved. The previous week Mark told me about her serious medical condition, confining her to a small, stroller like carriage, although about 9 or so. We knew to expect her, but I suppose I was sill shaken a little when we met.
She is so small, entirely frailer than my imagination hinted at. I talked with her about doing a simple head shot and asked of she wanted to pose. I tried to smile, but that must have seemed absurd in the presence of a suffering child. Maria is more than this though.
I had a quiet feeling while lighting it, that this might be a special image. It didn’t take long. Maria’s face and torso took up only a small area.
When I peeled the print away, I was floored at how the picture retained her soulful presence and courage, but tried to control my emotions. We did another one too, with more of the floor showing her sitting on a wooden chair, while behind her, on a pillar, an odd rubber mask. Vicky also spent time with Maria, and, with Mark, photographed her lying down. This one also has that sad, but, resigned quality of spirit, so frail and yet, present in it. Years later Mark put this picture up at the show we had at the Paul Labrec Spa, but was requested to remove it, too strong for someone being manicured to see. It was eventually enlarged to a great size and exhibited in its own little alcove at our Las Palmas exhibition in Rotterdam. With dim lighting, it was almost like a sacred shrine.
Coming in later that day Stephen met Maria too, they talked quietly, almost whispering, sitting closely together, lighting up a little aluminum - foil construction. Maria’s family eventually moved to Vermont, to make things easier for them."
Excerpt from "Lifting the Blindfold; Voices of the Seeing With Photography Collective"
Above, Maria c. 2002

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