Created from analogue landscape prints and some new and older self-portrait prints, I began creating this series of diptychs “Torn” shortly after the start of the Ukrainian war.
These images are a representation of my own emotional reactions to the unfolding events because of family connections and family history that is tied to Ukraine, my family history with WW2 and the overall effects that this war will have and could have on Europe and the rest of the world.
As much as these images express my own emotions, they are also a general representation of the unimaginable pain and suffering of the Ukrainian population: torn apart, misplaced, sheltered underground, and buried. And yet, among all the suffering, you can find and see signs of immense strength and resilience as well as glimmers of beauty and hope. All the prints were physically torn apart, some randomly, others intentionally, and put back together to create a new and different narrative. The results were then rephotographed after adding natural elements like dust, dirt, or water drops.
About Manuela Thames
Manuela Thames is a photo-based artist and lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with her husband and two children. Originally from Germany, she moved to the US in 2004 when she married her husband, who is American. Her background is in nursing and alternative health, but around 2008 she began to focus solely on photography after two life-changing events happened within one year: the death of her brother and the birth of her first child.
Her work consists largely of fine art self-portraits as she aims to explore the brokenness of humanity, the struggles of loss and grief, her personal experiences with generational trauma and mental health struggles. Within that she continues to explore the human ability of coping, the strength that evolves out of suffering and our common desire for healing and journey towards wholeness. Her photography has been exhibited nationally and internationally and her work has been published in numerous photographic journals and magazines. She teaches workshops privately and through Santa Fe Workshops in the US, and offers mentoring services as well. [Official Website]