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REDES film photo depicts religious art

on Sunday, 25 March 2012. Posted in News

Ned Scott was busy with his 5 x 7 Graflex while on assignment in Alvarado, Mexico for producer Paul Strand during filming of REDES/The WAVE in 1934. While not participating in film production, Ned Scott was free to roam the streets and shorelines of Alvarado with his camera. Among the many features he studied with his camera was the church in the center of town. What caught his eye were the religious icons placed prominently in the nave right next to the pulpit. Eight negatives survive of these religious figurines. The camera angles capture a sensitive and sympathetic aspect of each. What is not revealed in these images is Ned Scott's loathing of all organized religion, especially Catholicism. This deep seated hatred issues form his childhood when he was placed into British boarding schools during the First World War. He spoke only French, and being thrust into an Anglican or Catholic boys' school was a bitter experience indeed. He carried this throughout his life. And in 1931, when photographing Ranchos Iglesia in Taos, New Mexico, Ned Scott aligned a grave yard cross superimposed over the crosses of the church pediments--a clear statement of his sentiments toward religion as it relates to human life. But in Alvarado three years later, he had suspended these strong feelings long enough to perform a remarkably delicate and subtle treatment of the Christ and Mary figurines. Paul Strand had perhaps influenced him in the handling of the subject matter since he had created studies of such figures in other churches while there in Mexico in 1933. But there is no record of that possible connection.

madonna in Alvarado Church

Figurine in Alvarado church 1934 by Ned Scott

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