Her Daughter's First Communion
Image  |  Melanie Fiander
Photographer and sometime videographer Melanie Fiander's first solo show in Bermuda opened at the Bermuda Society of Arts last Friday.  Entitled Salt Stories: 10 Years Later, the show comprises three photographic essays that have one common, unifying element: salt.  The mineral is present in the literal as well as the figurative sense in her images, from the salt of the sea, to the sweat shed on the dance floor at a wedding to the tears of sorrow at the loss of a loved one.  In her work, Fiander seeks to portray the honest, unguarded moments exhibited by her subjects and refers to those occasions as “salt moments”.  The three series, "Fiander Foto: Weddings", "Like Father, Like Son" and "Aunt Mary", consist of a sample of her candid, almost documentary-style wedding photographs, a collection of raw and uncensored photos depicting the toil of Fiander's husband and father-in-law in their work as deep-sea fishermen in the waters off Bermuda and a moving photo essay that was shot at her great aunt’s house in New York in October of this year. 

The images, which were taken over a four year period between 2011 and 2015, depict events both in Bermuda and Fiander's homeland of the United States and the collection takes the viewer on a wide-ranging emotional journey.  They reflect intimate and harrowing topics such as loss and loneliness, but also provide glimpses of joy, pride and unadulterated happiness.  In hindsight, it appears that we viewed the show in reverse order, but we are glad we made this mistake as what was our final viewing - the "Aunt Mary" series - had the strongest emotional pull.  By moving from happiness to grief, in this way, the show resonated more strongly with us. 

Salt Stories continues until January 6, 2016.

Mornings on the Porch
What Time Is It?
Open the Door to the Light
Three Generations in One House
At the Helm
He's Got a Fish Up On the Bow
Hooked Up
Saved for Fish Chowder
Red Sky at Night
The Dress: Bride and Mother
A Groom and his Groomsmen
Maid-Of-Honer Speech
Images  |  Melanie Fiander