D:Sign 4

D:Sign 1, D:Sign 2, D:Sign 3

This is another of the images where the first draft was rejected. Here is the published photograph:


This is the image that was rejected:


Once again I prefer the original piece. It’s interesting to me why it was rejected, the reason given was because certain people felt that it portrayed a female figure in subservience to a male figure and they thought that the two should be made more equal. How much is in the eye of the beholder! The incident provoked thoughts for me about the difference between art and propanganda and so instead of tweaking the orignal to suit an agenda I changed the idea to just a single figure.

In fact this is one of the most personal images in the series, rather than depicting a female and male figure (their gender is deliberately ambiguous) it explores some of my own experience of being a gay man in the church . This touches on so many important and sensitive areas of diversity and equality which are clearly uppermost in the mind of those who wanted to see male and female figures depicted equally; but in bringing their own prejudices to bear on the image they (inadvertently I’m sure) silenced my voice in a small way. I’m not claiming any great martyrdom here – clearly I still have a voice otherwise I wouldn’t be able to write this and have it read across the world – but perhaps the story acts as a parable for how the genuinely voiceless are kept silent by the efforts of the well meaning.

This response also makes me wonder about both images: Is the multi-coloured figure necessarily more feminine and the black and white more masculine? How do richness, ambiguity and diversity sit alongside a harsher, black and white framework? Do different people think in these different ways – if so, who would serve who and who would crucify who? Is there anyway in which the two could communicate and understand each other in a mutually enriching manner?

One thought on “D:Sign 4

  1. Ric -Once again, I’m moved. I, too, prefer the first. Art creates the unexpected, doesn’t it? We each see in such different ways. When you wrote about the perceived subservience seen by others, I had to go back to the image and look to see what I missed. Looking once again, though, I still didn’t see what they saw. What did I see? I saw the division of humanity. I saw the plight of those who remain unseen by those who can physically ‘see’ but who suffer from a blindness they do not even know they have. They are blind to the hurting and powerless around them. They seek to remain upright, strong, rigid. Situations are ‘black and white’ – there is no gray. They seek certainty and rightness over compassion. Perhaps they have never known true compassion and are unable to offer something they do not know. Perhaps the so-called ‘subservient’ one is the one called to show what compassion truly is…to those who have not experienced it. ‘Blessed are the meek.’I’d like to know what others see.As always, thanks for sharing, Ric.Peace & blessings.Shari

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