ANDARA Gallery Presents
Tara Wilkinson I Waiting.
- the action of staying where one is or delaying action until
a particular time or until something else happens
- to remain stationary in readiness or expectatio
- to remain temporarily neglected or unrealized
- a state or attitude of watchfulness and expectancy
Waiting is hard. Waiting requires patience. It requires us to let go, render oneself helpless, to trust that whomever or whatever we are waiting for will arrive. Waiting is a universal truth – a reality regardless of time and space. We are all waiting for something.
Unable to travel and frustrated by the pandemic lockdowns, photographer Tara Wilkinson decided to travel back through her photo archives to fulfill her wanderlust. Delving into three decades of images from journeys to over 25 countries, she was particularly drawn to those from warmer climes. Images of daily life in Cuba began to bubble to the surface.
The Bouncer, Havana, Cuba, 2014
Signed, titled, in pencil, au mat recto
Printed circa 2021
Ink pigment on matte archival paper
11 x 15 inch (27.94 x 38.1 cm) image
19 x 23 inch (48.26 x 58.42 cm) framed
$ 500; Framed
A common thread Wilkinson found in each of the images was a constant state of waiting … waiting in line for food or medicine, waiting for transportation, waiting for someone to come home. Everyone was waiting.
If there’s been one overriding universal experience this past year, it’s been “Waiting”. Waiting for the pandemic to end, waiting to leave the house. Waiting for a vaccine. Waiting for a delivery. Waiting for a Zoom call to begin (or end). Waiting for the fear to subside. Waiting for a chance to hug family and friends again. Waiting for a return to normal.
Wilkinson’s latest exhibition WAITING is an invitation to travel again – to visually walk the streets with her through the villages and cities along the north coast of Cuba. Taken during several trips between 2014 and 2018, the series of raw black and white street photographs allows the viewer to observe a mere moment in each individual’s life story. In a fraction of a second, a single frame can reveal a remarkable amount of truth.
In curating the exhibition, Wilkinson was careful to strike a balance between individuals and crowds, friends and families, children and seniors, neighbours and strangers … all waiting in different environments which also serve as an important part of the storytelling.
While there is obvious hardship, one can also find hope if you look closely … the artificial flowers on a woman’s sandals, a ray of sunlight, friends deep in conversation, the imagination of a little boy at play, the stroke of a parent’s loving touch on a child’s head, a plastic bag dancing in the wind at an intersection.
Pre-COVID, life in Cuba was already difficult enough. One can only imagine the devastating effects the pandemic has further had on their lives. Looking at these images we are reminded of how privileged we are to live in Canada.
With the advancement of technology and an abundance of everything available with the simple touch of a screen, patience no longer exists. We have all come to expect everything we want to come NOW, to happen NOW.
The pandemic is testing our mental, physical, spiritual and emotional well-being. It is testing our relationships, our resolve and patience.
Sometimes, all we can do is WAIT.