AnnMarie Tornabene - A Self-Portrait Photographic Journey
The Divine Journey 2008 - 2014
AnnMarie was born an Italian – American with a Catholic background, but she grew up straying from most religious ideology. As the years passed, she has been influenced greatly by the philosophy of good and evil and battled in her mind the concept of punishment and reward and the idea of needing to suffer for our sins, which is a prevalent theme in Catholicism. Also, the ultimate question of death with the existence of Heaven and Hell in the afterlife came into her subconscious.
One conclusion that made the most sense to her was how religious symbolism can be a strong and powerful presence in people’s everyday lives. And in the Christian faith, the depiction and definition of angels, in their winged form shown in most art and sculpture, seems to have a magical and spiritual force for many religions and cultures. In her personal beliefs, there are two main roles of angels; that angels can create mythical travel between Earth and secondly, another realm as a means of psychological escape, and their “presence” aids in comforting those in need, whether it be due to a loss of a loved one, or from facing difficult times in their lives. In regard to the latter, AnnMarie has been in both of those situations and feels connected to that concept.
In 2009 in looking to find some spiritual comfort, she wanted to pursue a new photographic project that dealt with this. She wandered through cemeteries, studying the statues of angels and began photographing them. For the next five years, AnnMarie traveled to historical cemeteries in the US and in Europe. Incorporating herself into the statuary was important to show her desire to connect with this spiritual world and she did so directly by posing with the statues as well as via digital tools.