The Mark of Abel.
Photographs by Lydia Panas.
Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg, 2012. 96 pp., 50 color illustrations, 11¾x9½".
For three years in hot weather and cold, Lydia Panas invited families to stand before her lens. She was curious to see what would happen. These groups stood graciously before her as the series unfolded. Nothing was deliberate or planned. The images do not represent individuals so much as they explore the questions of how we see ourselves and what we feel. In these pictures of family relationships, it is the details that matter most. Although they portray engaging people, verdant landscapes and beautiful light, it is the small things in the images that provide us with clues to understand the subtle nature of the work. After twenty years of working exclusively in black and white photography, mostly with her own children, Lydia began inviting other people with whom she was less intimate, to her farm in Pennsylvania, to see what difference this might bring to her work. Some of the models are family, some are friends, some are people she knew less intimately. She asked them to bring along their own family members or close friends, people with whom they shared a history. It was fascinating to see how they took certain positions in relation to one another, to the photographer and to the camera. Panas found that with the camera, she was free to watch and capture a sense of the connections between people, those unclear feelings that exist between us. Those moments we feel, yet are so difficult to describe in our connections with others.
Read the interview with Lydia Panas on photo-eye Blog.
Read Faye Robson's review of The Mark of Abel in photo-eye Magazine.