The dark side

Pilgrim sculpture by Helen Whittaker, Beverley Minster

For the psychologists among us

What haunts us is often the shadow side, the dark side, of our selves.  It appears to us like these figures – dark, faceless, ominous.  Jung believed that we needed to make friends with these shadow selves in order to become whole, and that once faced, they no longer had the power to haunt or frighten us.  More than that, he believed that this shadow self held treasures for us to discover.  If you dare to look into these sculptures in Beverley Minster, you’ll see they contain ‘hearts’, made out of beautifully coloured glass fragments.

For the photographers

Beverley Minster is one of the only cathedrals I’ve been to where they charge you for permission to photograph even if it’s only for personal use.  I felt a bit annoyed by this and wasn’t going to bother initially, but got excited enough when I saw these sculptures (by Helen Whittaker) to walk back up the length of the cathedral to buy a permit.  Because I was excited, I started snapping away without even thinking about settings and the first shots came out over-exposed and blurred.  However, once I’d calmed down enough to set the camera properly, I found that the straight shots didn’t really work and lacked atmosphere.  I went back to deliberately hand-holding during a long exposure and, after a bit of processing, ended up with the image above.  For me it captures the feeling I wanted far better than the ‘correct’ settings ever would have done.  Serendipity is a wonderful thing.