Creating an image we’re told, should start with a vision and follow on with a creative process to achieve that vision. Sometimes this is not the case, instead creating an image itself leads to a tangential thought process and presents more material for future exploration.
This was the case when I dug out an image from a shoot earlier this year with Rachelle Summers in my shed. I had taken a number of poses to be later super-imposed on a building for my A Panel. I found an image with roses falling I had not worked on. So I went looking for a suitable backdrop and remembered the Legion of Honor Museum building I had snapped in San Francisco in September.
When it came to naming this image I thought of falling roses, but then I thought about the building and the Veterans Hospital nearby and decided on Falling Heros as the title. I did not know the Legion of Honor building was a museum and knew nothing about it until tonight; even though I stood outside it peering in through the gate to take photos a few months ago. The Museum was closed and I thought no more about it at the time. Now trying to name an image I finally lookup the building and find out a little about it. Even though it was built as a museum, it too was built with a dedication to Fallen Heros.
In a statement delivered to the Board of Park Commissioners on 5 January 1920, Adolph B. Spreckels declared it was the purpose of “my wife and myself to contribute to the beautification of our native city something not only beautiful in itself, but also something devoted to patriotic and useful ends: something which might be dedicated as a suitable memorial to our brave boys who gave their lives to their country in the Great War, and also lend itself, as a home of art and historical treasures, to promoting the education and culture of our citizens, and especially the rising and coming generations.”
My title is Falling Heros since one of the roses is in flight, though another lays on the ground. So this gets me thinking about all those currently in conflict and giving their lives daily all over the world. It’s actually hard to grasp this reality. I think about this year alone and all the conflict in the world and those who make the ultimate sacrifice and wonder if they will all be honoured and remembered. I think of Heros in a familial sense and how loss of all our heros needs to be remembered. As we approach 2016 the centenary of the 1916 Rising is close to the hearts of many people in Ireland today. My hope is it’s as much a celebration of peace as much as rebellion and is an inclusive reflection for all those who remember fallen heros everywhere.