Sandra Ayala Bronx Creative Photography | Take me to Church...

Take me to Church...

January 23, 2015  •  6 Comments

Having the ability to create art has taken me to many different places in my life. 

It has taught me to venture inside of myself and explore the things that hurt me or make me happy. For over a year now I have been thinking quite often about faith, beliefs and religion.  I grew up watching my grandma argue with the neighbors about religion. She hated to be preached to by someone who was not Catholic and was trying so hard to save her immortal soul. I chuckle when I remember those times, how passionate and downright nasty she was. But that was my Tata...she always had to beat you into submission. From that I learned never to discuss religion and applied the same to my art. I would file away images in my head related to religion, mostly because I didn't want to open the portal to a discussion.

I just want to create these images that mirror what I feel about a things and have people tell me what they see in the photo without judgement or criticism. 

When I first heard the song Take Me to Church by Hozier, it moved something inside of me. It shook me to my core just listening to the haunting words and how those lines could be applied to the thoughts running through my mind for so long. It jump-started my brain and brought it to life. I was happy about that because I was having trouble creating meaningful photos. At the same time I thought about how these images would be received because although I have an AMAZING group of supporters I am not too keen on inviting in those who are negative and not open to different points of view. Before someone says it, I am aware that people are entitled to their opinions and that is accepted as long as it's not derogatory and disrespectful.

If I could pull these images off, I will be purging thoughts about the current state of the Catholic religion, which I grew up in, (Church on Sundays) how I grew up in a home filled with faith, my own personal feelings on how hipocritical religions can be towards people who don't fit their mold and cultural beliefs as they relate to a higher power.

The first photo I've created is interesting, it depicts a woman and a child sitting side by side.

The elements in the photo are simple but meaningful. It's a photo inspired by the line, "I'll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife."

I have said many times that my work has true meaning to me and I have trouble sometimes letting those thoughts go out into the universe because they are so personal. This photo for me shows how we're are so overly judgemental of others. We are flawed humans who do things that are not right in the eyes of our "God", yet we do them anyway. In my mind I can't accept that we judge each other and then claim to be devoted to a perfect higher power.

It's so very simple...why can't we just accept others regardless of how they look, how they act or choose to live their lives. Why can't we just be more respectful and loving towards one another?

So for those who look at this post, please be more tolerant...don't judge...Live and Let Live :)

And feel free to really look at this photo and tear the pieces apart in a good way, I would love to hear what you all think.

Hozier's video

"Tell me your Worst"


I was just viewing your pieces at the Taller Boricua Gallery! And as awesome and beautiful as the pictures are, your writing and descriptions of the inspiration via the Hozier song and your Grandma are exceptional as well! Keep on trucking!

Sandra Ayala Bronx Creative Photography
When I create something that's personally meaningful to me it's hardly ever beautiful and perfect...only because we are all flawed. There is a huge part of me if not 98% of me that's inherently good. I have good intentions, I am compassionate, empathetic, loyal and strongly loving. I try to live my life as a good human being and am trying very hard to teach my children the same thing. However, I am not perfect and gave up the hopes of that when I was 18. lol!!! So I purge my flaws and feelings of realism through my work. There is nothing that would please me more than creating beauty each and every time but it's not always my frame of mind. Being able to do this with my son beside me is even more special because I believe that when he is an adult he will remember the times when he and mom created a thought through art regardless of how beautiful or ugly it was. I wanted to make this piece disturbing to the viewer initially...I wanted them to look and think..."Well Shit, that kid is holding knives and that woman has nasty stuff coming out of her mouth." :-D But then I wanted them to look more closely and think about what every piece of it means. I will break it down simply, there is definitely much more to this photo.
The water is cleansing, the flowers death but the sky is life. The doors are closed but there is always possibility of opening and leaving...there are also windows on the doors. The woman's mouth is purging flaws and the boy is sharpening his judgement knives. The photo behind them is an inversion of the scene in front of you. They are side by side as equals but the child is in an aggressors position and normally children are the prey. Her eyes are covered showing vulnerability as well as blindness. Finally, the clothes colors are the same, monochromatic gray. I compare it to today's society and how my life and experiences have been.
Thank you to all who have taken the time to read the blog and answer.
First let me say, that I am so glad that you have a way to give a voice to your inner feelings and the fact that your son is able to participate and contribute makes it even more special.
Then let me say that originally, I felt unsettled by the image but I cannot say in a bad way.(I think that is your gift and your intention by the way).
Trying to be happy, exist in the ever changing (not always for the good) world is so hard so often for those who do care about more than themselves. But taking the time to look inside is very hard for many to do and then to share that with the public even harder. When I used to perform(sing locally), or write lyrics the song choices or those lyrics provided a clue to how I was feeling.
Many times when I look at your work, I longed to see some joy at the end of the tunnel so to speak but again, that is not realistic, just my way of wishing everyone could be happy.(the white picket fence, skipping through fields of beautiful flowers syndrome is what I call it), nice but not realistic.
I want to thank you for sharing your gift and even more for sharing the meaning behind the art.
Maria Torres(non-registered)
"It's so very simple...why can't we just accept others regardless of how they look, how they act or choose to live their lives. Why can't we just be more respectful and loving towards one another?"

First of all I would like to say that your art screams, shouts, laughs , cries . Your work speaks to me because I am a feeler, to a fault, someone who loves the embrace of silence and swims in reflections of thoughts that need answers to the sadness that is so visible in our lives. This picture, can be interpreted in many ways, my interpretation of it is judgment. We ask our family our friends to speak to us of their thoughts , open themselves to us but we have an innate need to judge, that's how our children become jaded and at times indifferent. I was raised strict Catholic, sent to retreats when I was not "behaving" , face to face confessions. I remember during one of my retreats feelings so free of sin and almost pure of bad thoughts that I decided to confess a "sin" . The ultimate sin , I had fallen in love and lost my virginity. I will never forget how the priest looked at me and pointed to an apple on his desk. The priest asked me , if I took a bite of that apple what would happen? I responded , it would turn brown. The priest replied matter of fact, and no one would want it right? He left it at that, but the pain and emotion he ignited in me he will never know. I remember feeling so emotional and disconnected. I never went back to confession. After the whole issue with the priest molesting our children,I left the Catholic church and my family was unaccepting of the decision , but I did not care. Felt that way about many religions and am Spiritual not Religious. I remember being on my death bed in need of a liver transplant and when I received it I was told by one of my friends that she had prayed to God and made a promise on my behalf that if I received a transplant I would walk on my knees up the stairs to her church to the alter. Needless to say, I said absolutely not that was her promise not mine. Of course that was not forgiven and frankly I did not care. Judgment can cut like a knife, we are shamed into believing that some of choices in life are wrong and sinful , we will burn in hell. We are left without voices because we do not want to be judged. Throughout history religion has killed millions yet we must have something right? Something to believe in right? Continue your beautiful thought provoking work.
kim Eberle(non-registered)
Sandy... every thing you create touches me in a different way. This is a true feeling from me as well. Your talent is amazing and always leaves me wanting more. Can't wait to see what is next. Keep following you heart. It shows in your creativity. ..
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