Pic of the Week_Gompa and Pangong Tso_Ladakh
Here’s a favourite image from years past. After a breathless climb up a steep hillside I paused, with laboured breathing in the rarefied air, to look down onto this glorious scene. I was on my third trip to Ladakh in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India and had undergone a gruelling 4-wheel drive drip to Pangong Tso (Pangon Lake) at 4,250 meters (13,900 feet) above sea level. The lake is 134km long and 5 km across at its widest point. Despite being salt water the entire lake freezes over in winter.
I exhibited this image as part of a Masters in Photography I completed at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in the mid 90’s. Many of the images from that exhibition were displayed with accompanying text. The text for the above image read as follows:
She was his first great love
He thought on his life
And wondered what he would do when she was gone
Juxtaposing the image and text together was designed to produce a somewhat ambiguous result. I believe that the function of Art is not so much to provide answers, but to ask questions and provoke thoughtful response. My purpose here was for viewers to extract their own meanings and interpretations and for the text to take them on a journey somewhat different to the one they would otherwise expect to undertake by looking at the image in isolation.
For those seeking understanding the ‘he’ in text is me, while the ‘she’ refers to my dear old mum.
It’s amazing how our mind is often concentrated on the most important aspects of life by emersion in foreign cultures, extreme activity, stress, exhilaration, exhaustion and beauty. I guess I was experiencing all of the above and that’s what brought my sub-conscious to the fore. What a wonderful thing to be amidst such awesome natural beauty and to be reminded of what is most important in one’s life: love and family. And amazing experience and a resulting image with which I’m very happy.
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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography