Oscillating between past and present, “Stigma” is a black and white photographic series that interconnects lone souls with crude surfaces. By bleeding out the color from the scenes, the pictures materialize experiences of fear, isolation, and rupture. Playing with light and shadow, subjects are depicted as transientmemories, conjuring narratives between their immaterial and physical presence. From the darkness, corporeal figures emerge concealed and blurred, forming portraits that imbue vulnerability and summon interpretation. Placing emphasis on society's outcasts, both youthful and ageing beings confront life and mortality through protective amulets, taking refuge in spirituality. Through images that include the depiction of a child holding a pigeon and a woman wearing a necklace of a cross, Luna emphasises the intimacies of spirituality and the faith placed by many upon a guardian to shield them from the complexities of existence.
Merging the energy of the animals, people, and places with his own, the camera allows Luna an alibi to search into his inner self. Undergoing a process akin to a personal revelation, this body of work was re-birthed as an affective relationship died. Sullied horses, stray dogs, and speckled pests reinforce the sense that the photographer experienced at the moment ofcapturing these images. Keeping opposing forces keenly balanced, ghostly presences are portrayed, echoing the abstraction of painting: shadows shield facial expressions, silhouettes blend against a blur of apparitions, and distorted creatures are obscured by the moving grain, becoming almost hallucinogenic. Carefully orchestrated textures including broken mirrors, risingflames, and turbulent winds cement the ephemerality embedded in existence. The result is a hybrid of intimate observation and heightened tension, where the audience is invited to decipher a language of poetic sensations that eschew fixed meaning.
-WORDS BY VANESSA MURRELL-
I drew their faces barefoot
I fed with my fingers their mouths
starving for salvation.
The blasphemy was made flesh
of their empty hands I squeeze
the blood of their nails:
I seeded their barren bodies.
And in the hollow basins of
their eyes I stopped the time and the color.
Skulls of dust and cement
The cross hanging on their chests
Old puppets in deserted streets
asking me for help in the darkness,
without voice or breath.
The city that oppresses
the man who mute
And live and dies twice
through my mirror.