Recently, I have been drawn to diptychs. The visual interplay between the photographs appeals and intrigues as the two combine to create an enlarged composition and expanded story.
Diptychs reach back to antiquity when wax-coated, wooden tablets were hinged together to form the ancient equivalent of a notebook. During the medieval period, small, intricately carved, ivory diptychs meant for private devotion were popular in wealthy homes. The two, attached, low-relief panels depicted scenes from the life of Christ, essentially creating a mini sacred book to be held in meditation by the faithful individual.
The diptych’s book-like character is, for me, one of its most endearing qualities. Inspired by the form and history, and eager to experiment, I mixed and matched some old photos from my files.
Diptych making proved an addictive pastime, as others had cautioned. I discovered that each photograph became refreshed, ironically going beyond itself although now in a supporting role within the pairing.
Most satisfying, diptychs form new narratives. No longer solo storytellers, the paired pictures offer richer, more imaginative and whimsical tales.