Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Otters in the dark river

I've been going through old family pictures to get ready for a new drawing, thinking a lot about photographs and home, and when I read this last night I thought it was so lovely:

These are photographs of my children living their lives here too. Many of these pictures are intimate, some are fictious and some are fantastic, but most are of ordinary things every mother has seen-- a wet bed, a bloody nose, candy cigarettes. They dress up, they pout and posture, they paint their bodies, they dive like otters in the dark river.

They have been involved in the creative process since infancy. At times, it is difficult to say who exactly makes the pictures. Some are gifts to me from my children: gifts that come in a moment as fleeting as the touch of an angel's wing...
(***please forgive Sally here and read on)

When the good pictures come, we hope they tell truths, but truths 'told slant' just as Emily Dickinson commanded. We are spinning a story of what it is to grow up. It is a complicated story and sometimes we try to take on grand themes: anger, love, death, sensuality and beauty. But we tell it all without fear and without shame.

-Sally Mann on her own work, in Immediate Family, 1992

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