I try to leave enough room in my photographs for the viewer to create their own narrative, and I love getting to hear what those narratives are. It is one of the true privileges of selling my work directly to collectors – I get to hear why the piece speaks to a viewer. I get to hear their stories and the personal meaning each piece has imparted to them.
I recently had a very poignant juxtaposition of stories related to one image.
A few weeks ago I sold this image (in two different sizes) to two new collectors, and both were generous enough to share their stories with me.
The first went to a couple’s new condo. After a long distance relationship, the couple was starting a new life together and the landscape held special meaning for them. The landscape alluded to the distance they once traveled to see each other, and now the trees will bear witness to their joyous new life together. Congratulations on new beginnings!
The second collector, grieving the recent loss of a partner, was also drawn to the two trees – for him they were standing as monuments, symbolic of the life and love they had shared together. I hope they will bring him comfort and peace as he moves through his journey of grief. My thoughts are with you.
And as for me, my own personal story is that when I see the two trees together, I always think of part of The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran that was read at my wedding 20 years ago:
“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you… For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
I hope that if not today then someday, you too will share a story of what one of my pieces says to you.