The Sistine Chapel is Dying.

image of part of the ceiling of the sistine chapel

This is a tough one for me. Artdaily.org has reported that the Sistine Chapel is in danger of falling apart because of the some where near 20,000 visitors a day that visit the masterpiece.

image of the sistine chapel in vatican city

 

I have had the pleasure of standing in the Sistine Chapel twice in my life.  And I plan on returning again some day.  It was a life changing experience.  There are no words to describe how I felt when I saw it for the first time.  I was 17 and I knew that art would be part of my life forever because nothing else made me feel the way art does.  It is like love.  The second time I was almost running; in fact I think my husband and I did run in order to beat the crowd.  My heart was racing with anticipation.  It was like running in the airport to hug your family after a long time away.  I could breath again.

image of part of the ceiling of the sistine chapel

So, the idea of that experience not existing for future generations makes me sad.  It is also a reminder that nothing is permanent; no matter how hard you try to keep it safe.

*photos courtesy of wikipedia.com

Just the inspiration I needed.

photograph of mostly grass with an old man's feet sticking out from the top

photograph of mostly grass with an old man's feet sticking out from the topBriony Campbell, photographer

I can’t ever really figure out what makes me make art and what makes me stop for a certain period of time.  For a good amount of time I have had the intention of creating a project with the working title of “A Conversation with my Grandfather.”  The basis of the project is taking photographs with my grandfather’s old camera that was given to me after he died.

Just about 4 days before I was set to graduate college my father called me to tell me that his father had suffered a stroke.  I screamed at the top of my lungs.  I had lost someone that had just begun to become one of my best friends.  We had written each other back and forth while I was in college and had grown to understand each other.  Most of it was me realizing both our vast differences and our great similarities.  I was also old enough to realize that my grandfather had lived for 62 years before I was born and that all of those years influenced who he was.  I understand him even more now, even though he is gone, as I get older.  Generations can grow together when they are willing to accept that they are leading separate lives in the same place.

I have rolls of film taken from my grandfather’s camera, but they are sitting in a drawer in my living room.  I don’t know if it is fear or what, but they have been sitting there for more than a year, waiting to be developed.  And, I know that one or two rolls will not be enough for a strong series of work, so I need to keep photographing.  But, I’m not.  I can give you many many reasons.  I don’t have the time, the energy, I have a lot of things on my plate right now.  But, I am figuring out at this moment that I am afraid.  I am afraid to say goodbye.

But, there is hope for me.  About 15 minutes ago I discovered Briony Campbell and the dad project. She used photography to cope with her dying father.  The artist also created a film which may be viewed HERE. The work is honest, soft, natural, heartfelt and very inspirational.  Just what I needed.

a some what distorted portrait of a man lying in bedBriony Campbell, photographer