Behind The Pictures: Changes and darkness are important parts of life

This is the third of our Behind The Pictures series, where photographers and performers talk about some of their favourite images from last Samhuinn. Today, Bleu from Photopoint and Panda from No Point share their thoughts on this photo…

panda-by-bleu

Bleu says…
The No are a grand bunch to photograph. Finding a moment or two to capture them in action was always a top priority for me, regardless of any other tasks. Here we all had a moment to just goof off and be ourselves, as well as our other selves.

To the best of my memory I shot this image of Panda just as things were wrapping up. Most of us by this point in front of (and behind) the camera were somewhere between lost in the moment and partially back in reality, longing for the after-party and wondering when the first pint would get sucked up like a hoover.

Panda says…
To me, Samhuinn is an important time of the year for remembering that changes and darkness are important parts of life. They are to be celebrated, rather than feared. Faced, not ignored. Autumn is deeply engrained in my mind as a period of new beginning, and of settling. It is a time that, no matter how old I become, still smells like a distant wood burning fire; of walking through shades of gold and red fallen leaves, travelling to my first day at school. It is a time for returning to the earth, accepting endings, and fertilising the future, like the falling leaves do. It is making time for a reflective, introverted period of the year, often to face our inner demons.

The dual-natured character that I embodied at Samhuinn last year was inspired by the mythology of the Norse Goddess, Hel. Daughter of the trickster God, Loki. It is in her myths that when somebody passes on, they are greeted by her half-decaying body before travelling to the underworld, beneath the earth. She smells of putrid flesh. She is shunned, and often feared because of her half-decaying figure. The myths say that she only welcomes those who can accept her without fear to pass into her underworld, to be at peace. In many ways, embodying this character was a way for me to accept that dark, decrepid part of myself. The group I was a part of, No Point, and the wider BFS community have became the family that showed me how to be at one with the part of her that was still alive.

The Samhuinn Fire Festival 2016 is at 9pm on Monday 31st October on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Find out all about it here.

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