As part of my FdA Photography course, I had some prompts to interpret over the Christmas season. The first I chose was ‘photograph angels.’ With this prompt, I decided to take images of the traditional advent calendar we use every year. When my older sister was born in 1993, my mother handmade a Nativity scene advent calendar that we have used ever since. As the days pass in November, the Nativity scene comes together, culminating in Jesus’ arrival on the 24th. The 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th herald the arrival of the angels and their trumpets, just before the shepherds and their sheep.
The next mini-brief I interpreted was ‘a Christmas tree in an unusual place.’ I chose this tree in the car park of Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital as it could create a strong contrast in its message. Such a big and obvious example of the holiday season usually would represent joy and happiness and family. Juxtaposing that with a hospital, where many people have suffered terrible accidents and injuries creates a sort of melancholy feel around the symbolism.
We also had the opportunity to interpret ‘The Season of Good Will.’ On New Year’s Eve at midnight, fireworks are set off on the Newcastle Quayside. Immediately after them, a group passed by playing music and chanting the traditional Hare Krishna mantra. It is a 16 word Vaishnava (Hindu) mantra that refers to the Supreme Being (God.) These people pictured (slightly blurred due to enthusiastic dancing) were very inclusive and led a group of traditionally religious people and intoxicated party-goers onto the Millennium Bridge to celebrate, regardless of where they were from, showing the true spirit of the holidays.