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Even More Exhibition Info

Spontaneity is the motif that runs through these images, and a celebration of what happens when artistic intentionality meets happenstance, and when the unpredictability of life literally walks into frame. Added to this is that magic, mercurial thing, the capturing of the in-between. The idle gaze, the coming together of gossiping neighbours, and a suspicious village leader peering around a corner are all images that got frozen in time, inside María’s pictures. The sense of what happens next is a tantalising question that never gets answered.

Generosity is another touchstone, as María was welcomed into the homes of strangers. One elderly woman, who lived a solitary and lonely existence, was so happy to have a visitor and delighted to be the subject of a photo. There was the other woman who eagerly showed off her rabbits, animals that were pets but also bred for food. As they got fatter, their day of reckoning, of being placed on a plate, drew nearer.

Doors and doorways are striking metaphors, as well. As observers of these pictures, we are literally and figuratively entering new worlds, stepping over the threshold into someone else’s personal space. A home is the most intimate of spheres, and that is why we meet many of our subjects in those in-between spaces, caught between going in and going out, or even as they wait at the doorway, defining that simple structure as their place to socialize.

Finally, the very character of these houses – mud – is interesting. As the needs of the people living in the houses changed, the mud could be shaped and adapted, giving new energy and purpose to the inhabitants and their possessions as life trundled on and changed, as it always does. It’s a beautiful contrast to photography, which makes a monument out of the static.

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