The Greenhouse

/ Wednesday, October 17, 2012 /
                                                                                                                    The Greenhouse, 2011 © Chrissie Smolders

My grandfather has a greenhouse in his small, well-kept garden. It has a very distinct smell; every time I sneak inside it reminds me of my childhood. I would go inside and look up at the growing grapes and small, green tomatoes. The leaves would cast their shadows on me and it felt warm, damp and safe inside. 

Nothing but one thing has changed over the years. Now, the grapes touch the crown of my head as I walk inside.

Family Series #1

/ Monday, October 8, 2012 /
I didn’t really like the photos at first. I’m slightly difficult with photos not in a project. A single picture might have its beauty, but what is the message? What is the meaning, value, worth? Slightly shortsighted, but an interesting subject nonetheless. One to be discussed in a future post.

I assume I got this way of thinking in the four years of attending art school, and focusing on concepts and shaping projects constantly. But I got my BA, so I’m trying to let go of those thoughts. It’s a barrier in focusing on one single picture, on what it shows you and tells you. In that sense, it was good that I hadn't seen the photos for a few months. When I saw them again last week, they struck me with their beauty and meaning. Not only do they tell of the person in the picture, they also tell of the relationship between us. We are not only family, but at that moment also subject and photographer. And it makes us look differently at each other.

The photos are portraits of my close family members. This is a picture of Walid. He is my youngest cousin, and being the furthest away in age, it makes us the least naturally close to each other. He has a certain affection for me, even though he is often shy. As I’m staring into his eyes, I’m trying to find words for how this portrait moves me. I wonder if maybe, he reminds me of myself. I think of the beauty of seeing a human growing into it’s own personality. And I ponder the way he looks at me, while I look at him through my camera. I wonder if it will move others.

                                                                                                                                   Walid, 2012 © Chrissie Smolders 

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