This is a statement I heard many times while growing up.......... never quite understanding what my Greek migrant mother meant by this.
Now that I am older, I ask the questions that need to be asked…. before they are lost forever. Mum.....what was in that suitcase when you arrived to Australia so many years ago?
These questions can sometimes open up a can of worms and bring up many painful memories. Over many cups of coffee and the odd glass of wine, softly, gently...mum started opening that suitcase for me to look into.
Mum, I can only just grasp the enormity of leaving everything that you know and love behind...to start a new life on the other side of the world ...to a man that you only knew by a photograph that was sent to your family ... an arranged marriage... the sacrificial lamb paving the way for your siblings to eventually come to Australia.
You were only twenty years old and so very innocent...oh mum I tear up just thinking of you back then. Arriving with your suitcase to this strange big country that wasn’t always welcoming. Not a word of English did you speak....your loneliness must have been profound. Customs and beliefs being diluted everyday to fit into this new land and worst of all.....an unhappy marriage.
I photographed some of my mums precious items amongst the Australian bush and rainforest. Her beautiful embroidery was part of her Prika (Glory Box) that she meticulously sewed as a young Greek girl ...dreaming of who she would marry. The Greek Orthodox icons and photograph of my grandparents were placed in my mother’s hands by my yiayia to give her strength for the journey ahead.
Letters from family...her needle and thread...
The veil and slip....one ethereal the other in a dark and sombre place. Her wedding day and wedding night...
My father’s photograph that was sent to Greece.... the backdrop.... tall dark trees. My mother floating in a calm stream.... not knowing where it would take her.
TO BE CONTINUED AS I DELVE INTO THE SUITCASE
PASSIONATE MEN SERIES
The Passionate Men Series is about those men that find their “passion”. The makers, the collectors, the artists….the creators of their new destiny. To see each set of eyes light up as they tell me how happy and thankful that they finally found their passion.
Craft Beer Alchemsit
Wood and Resin Artisan
Our hands reveal a lot…..sometimes you don’t need to photograph a face to capture that emotion.
PRISON OF AGE
This award winning series was a body of work very close to my heart. The body can become a prison as a person ages….but there is always a resolute strength deep within.
What is hidden behind the veneer of a young woman today….what does she want to portray in the world of social media.