It has been a glorious season so far. We have worked for some wonderful families, weddings go far beyond the intended couple. There are parents working so hard, excellent bridesmaids, ushers, friends and there is always somebody making bacon sandwiches, and cups of tea. Those last 24 hours can be fraught, table plans to finalise, a worry of whether divorced parents might be civil, and the fact that you are about to make this enormous commitment to another person. Those last 24 hours can also be the most fun, hysteria sets in, somebody will decide the driveway needs gravelling, there is a mad dash to the church for a rehearsal, and the Amazon primed cake stand will turn out to be fit for the wedding of a small doll. Those last 24 hours can also be tender, I watch parents reminisce about their own wedding, express hopes and fears for their children, wish that certain family members were alive to see it, and the ‘goodbye see you tomorrow’ of the bride and groom.
Months are spent whizzing up and down B roads filling tents and churches with flowers. During this time, it takes a lot to get me into a city, it is a narrowing criteria at the best of times, work, friends, exhibition, good Japanese restaurant. Despite having lived in cities for a large part of my adult life, if one or more of these criteria aren’t met, no go. My car is too tall for multi storey car parks, I don’t have the right apps for things, nor the right wardrobe, and there is little horizon.
Butt there was an exhibition and a talk, that part was always going to be a challenge, but the exhibition. I couldn’t get it out of head, so went back the week after. “I can only tell you what my eyes” see an exhibition of Giles Duley’s work photographing refugees, people. The photograph of Shamah from Homs is one I went back to see. Taken in a camp in Jordan, the same age as a grandmother i had just left in a tent tying ribbon on napkins for her granddaughters wedding. The same proud and dignified stance, and sense of trust. I think that was why the photographs were so powerful, they trusted the person behind the camera, allowed themselves to be seen.
I bought the book, and i’ll leave it in the shop for you to look at whilst I make up your bouquet, or if you are just queuing to see the dog. Either way.
The talk was filmed, so it might be available online somewhere, but in the meantime you can read more here Legacy of War foundation and if you happen to be in Leicester tomorrow, the exhibition has its last day at The Gallery de montfort University.