River Tejo, Portugal, 1983 (from family album)

River Tejo, Portugal, 1983 (from family album)

River Tejo, Portugal, 2017

River Tejo, Portugal, 2017

“To this human ambiguity of the visible, one […] has to add the visual experience of absence, whereby we no longer see what we saw. We face a disappearance. And a struggle ensues to prevent what has disappeared, what has become invisible, falling into the negation of the unseen, defying our existence. Thus, the visible produces faith in the reality of the invisible and provokes the development of an inner eye which retains and assembles and arranges, as if in an interior, as if what has been seen may be forever partly protected against the ambush of space, which is absence.” *

 

Birthplace, 1977 (from family album)

Birthplace, 1977 (from family album)

Birthplace, 2017

Birthplace, 2017

The farm. Portugal, 1968 (from family album)

The farm. Portugal, 1968 (from family album)

Path to the farm. Portugal, 2017

Path to the farm. Portugal, 2017

“Originally home meant the centre of the world – not in a geographical, but in an ontological sense. Mircea Eliade has demonstrated how home was the place from which the world could be founded. A home was established, he says, “at the heart of the real”. In traditional societies, everything that made sense of the world was real; the surrounding chaos existed and was threatening, but it was threatening because it was unreal. Without a home at the centre of the real, one was not only shelterless, but also lost in non-being, in unreality. Without a home everything was fragmentation.” **

 

Wedding. Family album, Portugal, 1970s (from family album)

Wedding. Family album, Portugal, 1970s (from family album)

House. Portugal, 2015

House. Portugal, 2015

“Home was the centre of the world because it was the place where a vertical line crossed with an horizontal one. The vertical line was a path leading upwards to the sky and downwards to the underworld. The horizontal line represented the traffic of the world, all the possible roads leading across the earth to other places. Thus, at home, one was nearer to the gods in the sky and to the dead in the underworld. This nearness promised access to both. And at the same time, one was at the starting point and, hopefully, the returning point of all terrestrial journeys.” **

Wedding, 1980s (from family album)

Wedding, 1980s (from family album)

Swings, 2015

Swings, 2015

Fernanda, 1980 (from family album)

Fernanda, 1980 (from family album)

The last pine trees, 2016

The last pine trees, 2016

Sisters, 1980s (from family album)

Sisters, 1980s (from family album)

Dress, 2017

Dress, 2017


“[..] to emigrate is always to dismantle the centre of the world, and to move into a lost, disorientated one of fragments.” ***

Smoke, Portugal, 2017

Smoke, Portugal, 2017

Wind, Lancashire, 2016

River, 1970s (from family album)

River, 1970s (from family album)

Lake, 2014

Lake, 2014

Aunts and uncles, Portugal, 1979 (from family album)

Aunts and uncles, Portugal, 1979 (from family album)

Roses, Cambridge, 2017

Roses, Cambridge, 2017

 


 

Quotes from John Berger “and our faces, my heart, brief as photos”, Bloomsbury, 2005. * Page 50, ** pages 55 & 56, *** Page 57

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