MARCH 2018 TALLINN, ESTONIA
A visit to the Telegraaf Hotel, part of the Marriot Autograph Collection
The Telegraaf Hotel is ideally situated to discover the UNESCO world heritage site of Tallinn´s Old Town. One of the most fascinating aspects of this hotel is its award-winning Tchaikovsky Restaurant, which excels not only in the successful fusion of Russian and French cuisine, but in its lavish interior design. It features many original pieces of classic and contemporary art. Some historians believe that Tchaikovsky was inspired to write his Swan Lake ballet whilst in Estonia; on each place setting in the restaurant, guests find a white napkin which is folded into the shape of a swan, pointing in the direction of the door. On one random place setting there is a black swan napkin. When guests sit at this table, the black swan is quickly moved to another. A myth states that if a guest really wants to keep the black napkin, they must pay for the meals of every single person in the restaurant, though to date this has never happened. The hotel made for an interesting photographic project, in terms of food, architecture and history.
MARCH 2018 HELSINKI, FINLAND
The journey from Tallinn to Helsinki
Michelle initially flew from Helsinki to Tallinn, but took her return journey on the newly inaugurated Megastar Ferry. It was unbelievable to see the Baltic Sea completely frozen, with the ferry slicing through the ice. The resulting chunks of ice were the size of buildings, passing alongside the huge vessel. Taking in the force of the ship, and the extreme temperatures which created this sheet of ice on the sea, was an experience in its own right.
MARCH 2018 HELSINKI, FINLAND
Visit to Finnish Museum of Photography
For Michelle no visit to Finland is complete without the obligatory stop at the Finnish Museum of Photography. In the same building there is also a museum dedicated to the history of Finnish hotels – an ideal spot for Michelle, and a very happy place indeed.
MARCH 2018 MALAGA, SPAIN
CAC XV Social Media Competition
As part of the 15th anniversary of the CAC (Museo y Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga), the gallery held a social media competition which participants could enter by sharing photos with the hashtag #PhotoCAC across various channels, including Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. Michelle won with two Instagram posts, one featuring a visitor to CAC observing Erwin Olaf´s work, and one of some nearby street art. Michelle´s prizes were a catalogue of the work of graffiti artist D*FACE, and a t-shirt designed by Rirkirt Tiravanija.
MARCH 2018 ANDALUCIA, SPAIN
Michelle has gathered an extensive collection of images of Semana Santa over the years. Otherwise known as Holy Week, the annual event transforms towns and cities across Andalucía. Processions of elaborate iconography, hooded Nazarenos (penitents) and brass bands make for some really exciting photo opportunities. It´s a show of colour and religious emotion that is very idiosyncratic to the region. Semana Santa 2018 lasted between March 25 – 31, and Michelle managed to capture several new shots of the popular event.
MARCH 2018 LUQUE SPAIN
All female Semana Santa procession in Luque
Michelle photographed from start to finish the procession of Nuestra Sra del Mayor Dolor. In 1993, a young woman from the village had the idea of creating an hermandad (church brotherhood) specifically for women. She confided her idea to a group of friends, and one year later, the first ‘female brotherhood’ was founded. Spanish does not have a female equivalent of the word brotherhood (sisterhood might be hermanadad, but this is not a recognized word). Today, the hermandad has around 320 members, 60 or so of whom can be seen during the procession carrying the frame that bears the Virgin’s considerable weight, along with all her adornment, candles and flowers
Tribute to Stephen Hawking
Michelle was particularly saddened to hear of the passing of Professor Stephen Hawking. She once met him in a lift at the Frankfurt Book Fair; they each had the books they´d picked up that day. Michelle found Hawking charming, with him giving her a big smile, and felt inspired by his ability to transcend his physical limitations and achieve more than most able-bodied people do in a lifetime.
“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.” – Stephen Hawking