STEVE   SABELLA         

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Jenin Refugee Camp Photos

Touring Exhibition organized by the Palestinian and Humanities and Arts Now in the USA 2003 -new





I built for myself a new world. My world.  I defied everything I lived in and looked for a new being. And now, I have found in art a way to express my hidden fears and my understanding of beauty and religion. Art completes my life and is what attracts me most. It’s never boring and allows me to reach for something I cannot have in real life - a moment of truth. To understand more about my feelings, my beliefs, my fears and myself, it is this moment of truth I am looking for. Art has been a shelter to hide into. This shelter allows me to break free day by day. I try in most of my work to show a trace of light. I jump to an invisible world - to a place where only the imagination can reach. There, I start to sense a little of the private intimacy of the world, its hidden gentleness, the power of light and its behavior. In my photographs, I offer the viewer the opportunity to transport himself from his normal and known dimension to another one. One of which the imagination is the only bridge one can rely on as means of vision. As Robert Bly once wrote and I quote:

“Who ever wants to see the invisible has to penetrate more deeply into the visible”

I think spirituality and love are greatly connected. Both can be detected only if felt. It is the love of something that influences one to ask questions about origins, meanings and forms - some basic concepts of spirituality. Art in this case can be the connecting medium. Art deals with inner, deep and hidden feelings that struggle all the time to go out. It acts as a direct dialogue with oneself and his soul. One cannot fool and lie to himself. As far as these two last sentences are concerned, Art can be considered as the only real truth found on earth. I photographed Trees and made them look majestic. They let me feel the spirit in them. It is as if (because of the special film effects) one can see the trees’ spirit and its hidden energy. This hidden energy is important to me. It has something to do with a different form of unseen but felt light. This light which the tree has absorbed and is now giving out. I photographed many objects of everyday life because I believe everything we see or use has in it an obscure meaning. The way I see it, there is nothing banal in photography. It all depends on which context it is put and how well photographed it is. Landscapes allow me to feel the strength and glory they possess. I photographed hands for the simplest of reasons. Hands are means of beseeching or praising. At the same time, they are used to grant someone a present or an offering. To whom then am I referring? This is a hard question but there was one teacher who tried to teach me to feel the existence of my soul. Doing so, I learned many things about myself. In my work, it seems while photographing, I think of a God. This God is without doubt the one God whom everyone is talking about.

Steve Sabella

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