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This body of work is magnificent, despite showing a troubling and upsetting subject. The images are breath taking, from stunning portraits to enchanting group shots. This community of women depend on each other for their lives and for love. In my opinion, these heartbreakingly beautiful photographs of these widowed Indian women tell a story so powerful we can feel their emotions through the pictures, it seeps out of them, consuming the viewer and blanketing them with compassion and tenderness towards the women.
The colour in these images truly brings light and joy to the harrowing situation, whether you deem that to be a good thing or a bad thing it is most definitely a huge contrast to their situation. If this work had been in black and white the grief and sorrow would have been the dominant emotions to come out of this work, not the hope that colour brings or the comradeship these women have with each other. However dire their situation becomes, they have each other and reassurance in each others company. They are not alone. Colour is their saviour.
This is a very different body of work from the Indian women’s story however it still tells a beautiful story of a little girl and her best friend. These images are much more accessible to most viewers and many of us would be able to relate to the photos we see here. They are beautiful images and very heart warming and magical as we too become friends with “LiLu Blue Royal Lada”. In these photos the lack of colour only adds to the impact of them as we are focused on the story being told rather than the finer details of the subjects looks. The lack of colour makes it far less impersonal in the sense that any one of us could be that little girl and our pet. The fact that we cant tell what colour clothing the girl wears or markings on the cat means we could imagine our own belongings in the shots and so relate and fall in love with the body of work as if it were our own lives on canvas. Black and white can be just as powerful if not more (when used correctly) as colour and is a far more powerful editing tool than many people realise (including myself!). Colour can change the meaning of an image just as a song can change someones mood. Colour (and black and white colour) appeals to our senses and is often subconsciously a deciding factor on how we interpret a photograph and/or a story.
I suppose some of you may be wondering why this story is a concern however, and to some of you it may not be. But if you look deeper into this little girls story can one not see the sadness within the laughter? The stark, peeling walls do not suggest a warm, permanent or secure home. The lack of human friends in this little girls life also raises a flag, is she a refugee? Moving from house (not home) to house unable to take her friends with her, all her love with one cat, or perhaps she finds it difficult to make friends other than of the feline variety? Some may find this reason to concern however in my opinion it is better to have loved and had a best friend than not, be it human or animal, a friends a friend and whoever is there for you is what counts.