In difficult times, we are often blinded by the negativity and pessimism of the situation. We have all had first hand experiences in the recent months, constantly being harassed by distressing media coverage and world leaders generating fear and uncertainty. Even the usual ‘small talk’ about the weather has also been replaced with talks of the virus and the devastating consequences on every one’s lives.
If you’re lucky enough, you may come across a few individuals, who have been blessed with a different vision and a resilience to the constant negativity. They are not oblivious, nor are they disregarding the global crisis; they are merely conscious of the beauty of humanity and the powerful influence that it has on our souls. It gives us a glimpse into something better and that despite the difficult times, we have not lost what is truly important.
I am lucky that my Mum, Petra, is one of these individuals. She has an eye for beauty and an extraordinary enthusiasm which no virus could ever unhinge. She shares her perception through her camera and captures raw moments- moments which no models or editing programmes, could ever fabricate. They are moments captured, not manufactured.
Her ‘forte’, is capturing couples in their walks of everyday life and sometimes moments of affection. However, during the times of social distancing, people’s everyday lives have been confined to 4 walls. What before seemed like just tall apartment buildings, suddenly became homes; with every window presenting a glimpse into a new reality.
“Walking home one day, I noticed two young children standing on the sidewalk, enjoying a conversation with their grandparents through their window. The grandparents were comfortably in their apartment, enjoying the company of their grand-children who were enthusiastically reporting the day’s events. I was so touched by this moment and the strange reality of this situation suddenly struck me. I realized the uniqueness of this situation and that we will never experience this again. This moment was too beautiful to put into words, so naturally I took pictures as a keepsake for them and their family.”
“This moment, stayed with me for days after. I began to think of all the families, couples, friends and individuals; suddenly all adapting to being locked-down in their homes. When all of this has come to an end, every home will have their own story to tell – and I wanted to capture a glimpse of that story.”
It is in our nature, as human beings, to adapt and to make the most of whatever situations we find ourselves in; despite hardship, we always search for something as close as possible to our ‘normality’ and the things that bring us happiness. Petra wanted to capture these moments, whilst embracing the reality and boundaries of the circumstances: From a distance.
“I wanted to capture the families, couples and individuals, as authentically as possible and therefore, they are all taken from a ‘street-view’. These are mementos for everyone. Being on our own, away from others, has actually made us more aware of each other. We are gaining more insight into each other’s lives and we are realizing how much importance we all have in this world.”
“My thoughts behind this idea, is to show love and togetherness during this time. I believe that even though it is a difficult time, we will look back on these days and only remember the wonderful things we were able to do together. My hope is, that one day when we look back at these photographs, we will only be reminded of the special memories we created.”
“When lock-down was announced, we saw the list of things we were not able to do anymore. But, what we will remember years from now, will be the things we were able to do. The things we suddenly had time for.”
“During the past few weeks, I’ve learnt to look up. During lock-down I discovered how beautiful Vienna really is because I saw its people.”Petra Sittig
“We read about the earth’s healing; water that’s clearer and the sky that’s never been so blue. But in a way, all this healing is happening to us as well. It might not be as visible as we see it in nature, but it is happening.”
“We didn’t only start to open our windows, we started opening up our hearts”.Petra Sittig
“It only took something that’s about 120 nano-meter in size to make us realize how connected we all are.”Petra Sittig