Stephanie Rose WoodThere are some moments that are impossible to interrupt.
The two women were sitting on blue chairs facing one another. One of the women sat upright, her back was straight. The woman’s eyes gently closed, with an expressionless, entirely neutral face. Her hands were hanging down by her sides, her posture expectant but submissive. The other woman sat leaning forwards, as if telling a story, or delivering news, imparting secretive information. Her eyes were half closed, I couldn’t see where she was looking. The woman leaning had her left hand placed lightly, barely touching the other woman’s knee. The right hand hovered, a few inches to the right of the woman’s upper arm.
They were almost still. Only breath moved them.
I had been hanging around for so long by this point, occasionally taking photos but mostly drinking tea, that no one noticed me quietly watching the healing sessions from the other side of the church. One of the healers had just been talking to me about energy. Spiritualists believe that the soul is made of indestructible atoms. Energy goes on forever, that’s a fact. Energy goes on forever. And so, although the physical matter will disintegrate as anything would. The actual energy if you like of the soul, of the spirit, just goes on and on and on.
A line of sunlight appeared through the slim, long window in the pitched roof and placed itself along the varnished but worn wooden floor, across the woman’s face, across her closed eyes and back along the floor again.
I didn’t take the picture.
The act of taking a photograph, interrupts.
Stephanie Rose Wood is a Naarm/Melbourne-based British documentary photographer who works as a collaborative, community-centred storyteller/question asker. Her creative practice is research-driven and explores the complex interconnections between community, ritual, and the psychology of belief.
Her work as educator is integral to her practice. Stephanie is a lecturer at Photography Studies College in Melbourne. She collaborates with Sydney based organisation, Contact Sheet in the development and delivery of their education program.
Stephanie has undertaken various artist residency’s where she develops documentary projects. The most recent being a collaboration with photographic artist Harriet Tarbuck on a portrait project exploring the balance between caregiving and creativity.
In 2016, she completed a Masters of Photojournalism and Documentary Photography with distinction at London College of Communication.