An Ode to the Parental Home in Ilze Vanaga’s Series
Latvian photographer. Studied studied History of Arts in Latvia's Academy of Arts. Has exhibited her work internationally since 2009.
— It is a little celebration, a giving thanks of what has been. You know, before you start a new journey, you have to sit down and see what tools and instruments you need to take with you and for what reasons and for which tasks. This is how I feel. This is a thank you to my Paradise garden, which is literally my parents home where I was born and raised. That place is very, very special.
It was one last autumn morning, I was sitting there in the garden. The sun was warm and it kissed my cheek in so lovely a way that all of a sudden I felt like I was in paradise. The feeling was deep, It came up, out as a volcano – all the hidden emotions – love, hate, fear, pain, happiness, everything. It was shocking, bracing, you know.
I looked at my daughter, then a 1-year-old playing there and I realized that I have been in many places around the world, but in my heart in that moment I understood I had not left this place ever as for standing on my own feet really, emotionally. So, this is kind of getting ready for the journey of standing on my own feet.
In these terms, it is a kind of retrospective, as it is a looking back of what has been. There are images from about the last ten years and some recent work as well. People are from different places around the world. From my journeys and stays, wherever I have lived: London, Scotland, Turkey, Iceland, United States, Latvia.
I don’t know if people need to see these photographs. Sometimes I feel they actually don’t, that it is too personal. But for me, there is a need to see them from a distance, to make it public. I don’t know why. It is facing some fear, I guess. It gives a much clearer view of the road ahead. Hopefully.