Back in the spring (during Lent, in fact) I spent a weekend at the Convent of the Sisters of St John the Divine in Toronto, on a retreat.
The Convent is a lovely building – very airy and full of light. There is a labyrinth behind the guest-house, and an enclosed garden, and a small chapel. I found it to be a very peaceful place.
D., one of the other women on the retreat asked me to take some pictures that she could use to illustrate “Prayer”. I don’t do much conceptual photography, and I certainly didn’t have the kind of time one assumes one will have to plan a conceptual shoot, so it was a bit of an on-the-fly experiment.
Behind the chapel there is a hidden room with a beautiful stained glass window. Most of the stained glass at the convent is abstract – this was the only figural work I saw there, and it is clearly much older than the rest of the building. The light that filtered through it into the little room was particularly delicate, and I thought we could probably get a really nice image there. D. sat on the floor in front of it, in a meditation pose, and I knelt on the far side of the room and took a snap.
I think I got it.