It felt like I was intruding on an intimate moment.

September 18th, 2013, 8am

It was 8°C with scattered clouds. The breeze was light.

I was drawn to this painting as soon as I walked into the gallery. It’s taken from a family photo and the men are the artist’s uncles. Her family are from Tehran and Shiraz, but she is born in Christchurch, New Zealand.

There is a story there. I don’t know what it is, but you can see it in the body language of the men, the way they stare at the camera. One of them looks as if he is holding something, but you can’t tell what it is. I don’t think they’ve been caught ‘red-handed’. Or, maybe they have. Maybe their meeting was clandestine. It’s equally possible they’re simply catching up over coffee or tea. There is something about the splash of red on the wall in the background that suggests something deeper is at play here.

I could’ve asked the artist what the two men had been talking about or why they had met that day. But maybe she doesn’t know either. Maybe she’s never met her uncles. There were many things I could have asked, that I wanted to ask, that maybe I had no right to ask.

Whatever is going on, I’m grateful the artist chose to share it with us.

Cassie, Paul and David Wade said thanks.

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Aidan Rasmussen

Lost in a story.

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