The visual cue for the veiled woman comes from the beautiful artwork to Joy Division's album ‘Closer’. The artist, Peter Savile, used a black and white photograph from a cemetery in Genoa, in which a vignette of statues of mourning figures grieve over the dead. Apparently, Tony Wilson almost pulled the artwork because of the tragic suicide of Ian Curtis just before the record released. I'm glad they didn't.
The music we used to inspire these photographs was a very specific recording of ‘The Eternal’ - a live bootleg from The Warehouse in Preston. The song creeps over you slowly building a ghostly atmosphere, flushed with emotional insight. As it happened, the band were having enormous technical problems at the show with mics and the PA. Perhaps Ian Curtis’s entry into the song was delayed for these reasons. But the result is a song which builds a powerful darkness with slow chanting synths until after a few minutes Curtis’s voice pierces the darkness like a shaft of light. The effect is incredible. One of my favourite recordings of all time.
The image is another of my pieces referencing renaissance imagery of the Madonna, the symbol and embodiment of emotional connection. The veil is a powerful device, hiding the figure just beyond the reach of our eyes, as so much emotional truth around us is to be found.