I found about Shutter Hub from one of my tutors at university, Nigel Grimmer, and I started exploring the website to see if there were anything that I might be interested in applying to. At first glance the idea of “do you like love?” seemed very specific and perhaps not quite well-suited for my interests, however, I started looking through my photos and soon realised that love doesn’t necessarily have to come in the romantic sense. I remember that I listened to a podcast a while back that talked about the Ancient Greeks’ sense definitions of love, which was far more complex and nuanced than our own. We find it difficult to say ‘I love you’ to a friend, for it sounds the same as the ‘I love you’ that we might say to a lover. The Greeks would have had no problems with that. They understood that the Agápe love that parents feel for their children is not like the burning Éros love that they might have felt for one another when young, or the more mature and affectionate Philia love they might feel for each other and their friends at a more advanced age. My photographs show instances of Ágape, Philia and Storge.
The question then is whether love, in all its manifestations, can still be desirable. I think that we might rationally dislike love, because love also means pain. Loving is an almost inherently possessive or voyeuristic act. You have to have a relationship with the object of your love. You must be able to either see it, touch it, smell it, talk to it; have some sort of relationship with it. When that relationship becomes impossible we find ourselves loving something that no longer exists and, hence, that can no longer be loved. A paradoxical desire for the impossible. Do we still wish that we loved when our love becomes impossible? Some have said that the depth of one’s misery is only a reverse image of the heights to which our previous, contrasting, state of happiness had ascended. Perhaps some people are simply more prone to happiness and others to misery, and the need for balance is simply in our minds. It is certain, however, that while most relationships, especially romantic ones, will at some point come to an end and, yet, we continue to seek companionship along our journeys. As long as we are human, we will seek close companionship and will look for, and like, love.