Flowers, Text & Religion

Some images from the week 30th April – 6th May

On Monday I took about 500 photos, over the course of the week probably well over a thousand. And so the benefits of digital photography become clear to me again.

I had something stuck inside that I needed to communicate, and I was trying to work through ideas that were coming up for A4 so all these ideas have been developing over the course of the week, culminating in images that I’m happy to hand in for A4 even though they’re maybe not as perfect as I’d like.

So, these first two images are part of exercise 4.5; they’re roses (obviously) taken with artificial light.

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I also took images of some lilies. They’d come in a bouquet with the roses and I found that really strange and also poignant as roses represent romantic love, while to me, white lilies represent death.

The roses were certainly dying fast.

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I think I started to look for human anatomy in the lilies as I’d done some research on pornography last week when I was thinking about the way women are represented. I suppose that women and flowers have links (how many female names are floral?) in qualities that society perceives as positive for femininity. It’s not an unusual link to make, for example in the flower paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe, but I wanted to explore it for myself.

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Later in the week I also took some photographs of orchids and found myself returning to these ideas.

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There’s a big link for me between my past, religion and sexuality that I need to explore and I suppose it’s all coming out here! It’s gradually become apparent to me that although there are these things that seem big and looming in my life, like emotional and psychological abuse, being put into a children’s home, watching my mum’s decent into schizophrenia when I was eleven and the associated caring role I had to take on for her and for my sisters who were babies at the time, there is actually a much bigger looming shadow that runs over my whole family or through it like a poison: Evangelical Christianity.

Over the past few months it’s gradually become clear to me how pernicious and damaging this particular brand of this religion is. I’ve felt discomfort with it since I managed to disentangle myself from it several years ago, but I’ve tried to reassure myself that it’s essentially Pascal’s wager in terms of whether or not people go along with any particular religion. But over time I’ve realised it’s not, certainly not if you’re a female, because the bible hates women and Christian apologists can try to dress it up any way they like, but all you have to do is read and think to realise how deep this hatred goes.

“Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”

week to 6_5 (1 of 2)

 

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Eve

(The images didn’t work for me, but I find the phrases fascinating and I mean to play with the idea a lot more).

Those biblical ideas about females seep into every aspect of life. And I wanted to express the knowledge that those ideas I’d had implanted as a child, that were expressed in all sorts of phrases and backed up using scripture, still permeate into my life even now.

I can see some of them clearly, I can see where they come from but in some areas it makes no difference now. These messages have had a massive effect on how I have lived my life, choices I have made, how I have behaved and how I have seen myself and my place in the world. It is too late to put all of this right; I cannot turn back time.

“I can’t answer your questions Sarah, but what I do know is this; there is a golden thread running though the Old Testament, that thread is Jesus Christ, and if you don’t believe in him, turn back to him, then you will suffer and burn in hell for all eternity. The devil is tempting you to ask these questions, but you must have faith and believe in Him who will set you free.”

A vicar

Some of the biblical misogynistic phrases are still hidden inside of me, obscured by the way I have been taught to behave as a female and what I have been instructed to expect from life. I hate it, I hate it so much I cannot describe how angry I am that I was treated this way as a child and that there are people who are still doing this to their children.

There is a phrase in a Jewish prayerbook a friend got for my children, a prayer for every morning offering a praise to God, “who has not made me a woman”.  If my memory is correct, in the children’s version it says “Thank you G-d that I am not a woman.” Needless to say, I didn’t let my boys anywhere near it.

“Little girls should be seen and not heard.”

My grandmother

So I suppose that’s where these images are coming from.

Later in the week I tried experimenting with the idea a bit more.

These are screenshots from bible hub on 1 Timothy 2:12.

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“She is to remain quiet.”

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She is to remain quiet

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“She must remain silent.”

This is the phrase I am going with for A4.

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must remain

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she must

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She with me included

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She

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must remain

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Must

Another experiment with a different look..

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SHE MUST REMAIN SILENT

I also experimented with images for other verses.

When I was 11, my mother burnt all my books because they might have reference to magic in them. I now have thousands of books in my house, but I no longer own a bible.

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The wages of sin is death 

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The wages of sin is death

 

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And the priest shall make atonement for her before the Lord for her unclean discharge

 

I think I will go back to making these images more personal at a later date, but whether that’s in the context of this course or not depends on the feedback I get from my tutor. So looking back to exercise 4.4, I might use the meaningful objects along with text (see further down page for more meaningful objects).

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I took this image on my iPhone as a joke; I was tired and it was hot, I needed a drink and I was messing around. I think I might retake it and use it though. 

I am still playing with ‘Clue’ the period tracker, inspired by Kate Aston’s work.

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More meaningful objects: I needed to get close up images of these and I don’t have a macro lens so I used very cheap close up filters with varying success. All of these have a story behind them that I will no-doubt end up telling eventually.

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The shadow cast by my Star of David

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‘Till death us do part

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Bracelet for a scapegoat

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Mum’s engagement ring; lost and found

 

On a lighter note…

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When I was a child I really wanted to ride but I was never able to so I’ve decided to learn now. This is the horse I’ll be riding. 

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I found this toad in my garden which thanks to three cats is littered with the bodies of various small creatures. It was cheering that they haven’t managed to kill everything. Yet.

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Bluebells at sunset 

 

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Sandbanks, Poole, Dorset

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The sky really was this blue

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Shadows cast by plastic plants

2 thoughts on “Flowers, Text & Religion

    • Sarah Scott says:

      Thanks Catherine, that means a lot to me. I am really not sure what my tutor will say and I sense a family fall-out coming on as well as opposition from friends because of this work.

      I really enjoyed the horse-riding; I just wish I could do it more often!

      Like

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