Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
Take a tour with me of Uwe Ommer's photographs of families from around the world, currently on exhibit at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville. There are close to 100 pictures, some hanging outside and some within the Center. Each photograph is large, about four feet by four feet, so you are face to face with the families.
Sylvie is from Guinea. She's standing with her two children, adopted after her husband left her. Both children are in their best clothes, both holding equally well-dressed dolls.
Each of the four children from the Welsh family also holds a pet or a doll, no doubt important companions for them in their remote area of Wales.
A Scottish grandfather and his son, shrimp fishermen, are shown without their wives, who refused to be in the family picture without first visiting the hairdresser.
The man and woman from Eastern Europe are laughing heartily. His arms enfold her. You can feel their love, strong after 40 years of marriage. They are with their donkey.
An Irish bride and groom are shown on their wedding day. They say they want lots of children. A young boy is suited as handsomely as the groom is. A beautifully dressed preteen girl is leaning into the groom's arm, fast asleep. Perhaps it took too long to prepare for the photograph.
The Turkmenistan family is seated on their hand-woven carpets. An Ivory Coast woman, a teacher with her three children, is in front of her school blackboard. The California couple and child are wearing sporty clothes fitting their outdoor life style. The Roma (Gypsy) parents say they plan to stop roaming soon so their girls, shown in layers of ruffles, can go to school. There are Iranians, Albanians, Russians, Chinese, Masai, Egyptians, and many more.
Some of the family members wear sneakers, some sandals or boots, and some wear no shoes at all. You see their bikes and donkeys, camels and elephants, and even monkeys that are trained to drop nuts for Thai coconut planters.