Lizzie Motlow, Cheyne Street, Edinburgh. February, 1986.
A few days after the Challenger Space Shuttle Disaster.
Platinum-palladium print from 8×10″ negative
My friend and fellow photographer was visiting from the USA, when we saw live footage of the disastrous mis-launch. The accident affected Lizzie deeply, being, like me, of that generation whose visions and wishes for the future grew along with the space programs of the USA and USSR. Even stranger, in this particular case, was the coincidence that the Challenger pilot, Michael J. Smith, shared Lizzie’s birthday. I remember talking about the disturbing tension between the tragedy of the event and the photographs, which were and still are so beautiful. And so with the fayiumi, encapsulating as they do the tragedy of loss and mortality in beauty.