dirk hr spennemann photography



1000 Prayers
War in the Pacific

Images by Dirk HR Spennemann


In August 1945 the US dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, effectively ending the Second World War. Sadako Sasaki was two years old when a nuclear bomb exploded a mile from her home. As she sickened from radiation-induced leukaemia, Sadako began folding origami cranes, inspired by the Japanese legend that if you folded 1000 paper cranes, you could be granted one wish. She did not complete her task before she died, aged 12.

With the unleashing of the atom bomb human warfare reached a level of technological prowess capable of destroying the Earth as a habitable planet. Yet out of this was also born a hope that new generations would step back from the brink. The photographs in this exhibition evoke the lasting effects of war, and its continuing presence as a part of our daily lives. The photos, taken through the viewfinder of a 1940s camera, capture images in the contemporary landscape which echo the horrors of past wars but which also reflect a hope for peace—a hope evocatively symbolised by Sadako Sasaki's memorial in Hiroshima where each years schoolchildren garland her statue with thousands of paper cranes—each one a prayer for peace.




Benalla Art Gallery

Benalla, Victoria

(10 July - 15 August 2010)




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