By way of a very loose narrative thread, Number 47 finds us still in Rome, albeit, Vatican City. On the subject of narrative, I recently found myself teaching the “Kuleshov Effect”, more broadly known as montage, wherein narrative is constructed by the viewers themselves as suggested by the sequence of shots. I have never set out to construct any story through the sequence of my Favourite Shots, yet it used to be a favourite pastime of mine to watch random slideshows of photos from throughout my life and find threads in them. Often a story would present itself in a run of places, characters and moods that reordered history into new possibilities.
This shot was taken inside St Peter’s early on a weekday morning. It was the most enjoyable visit to St Peters I’ve ever had – the building had not impressed me in the past, largely because of its rather dull grey and gold interior. Obviously St Peter’s is opulent and elaborately decadent, yet it is also vast and cavernous and the abiding atmosphere has a greyness about it that seems to mute the place and make the frills seem out of proportion. On this visit, however, sun was streaming through a floating interior haze and the towering ceiling had an epic refinement, the beauty of something natural. At ground level it felt intimidating in places, yet looking up, it’s grandeur became apparent.
This shot was taken as we slowly drifted to the exit, feeling more content than expected. Perhaps it was the pleasant surprise of the place, or its soaring elevation, but V carries herself with a light floatiness, like the dust-motes in the warm air.