Fred Huening‘s photographs from ‘Drei’ are a searingly honest and open series of pictures, part of a trilogy, a familial love story that begins with one, becomes two and ends with three.
The family – and more importantly the relationship between two people who in turn have a child – is a profound and fundamental part of the human story, the story of creation, of bringing new life, love and expression into the world. It’s a narrative that touches on life and death, beauty and decay, ecstasy and despair. And Huening opens his love story to all of us; his life with his girlfriend who became his wife followed by the tragedy of a still born child and finally the birth of a son. It is all here, ‘Einer’, ‘Zwei’, ‘Drei’.
Throughout the trilogy Heuning seeks clarity, a way to capture the essence of love, of familial connections as life passes by. It’s both a paean to love, to motherhood, motherly love and the mystery and wonder of childhood. The pictures clear, clean, unflinching and utterly disarming. They evoke a truth that we all seek within our own relationships; the depth of a loving embrace, the light in a child’s eye, the love of life in all its glory.
I too am one of three. And it has been a transformative experience; life takes on a different hue, the world tilts inwards and fleeting everyday moments become the most precious. It’s this alternative reality, this communal bond, that exists alongside ones own expectations, that Heuning captures so well in his candid pictures. Here’s what he has to say about the series to Lucida Magazine:
After einer was published in 2010, I became addicted to making books. Becoming a father and becoming an artist happened at the same time. Because I had so much material about my wife and my son, I wanted to create a love story (book zwei with a red cover) and a book about motherhood, motherly love and the mystery of childhood (book drei with a blue cover). The three colours of the trilogy are a homage to the film trilogy of Krzysztof Kieślowski and also the colours of my home country in Northern Germany.
The pictures are not in chronological order, but every part has a beginning and an end, my goal was to say something universal and deeply human. The editing and sequencing creates feelings and emotions in the mind of the reader. But this is not our real-life one-to-one; it’s a piece of art.
The three books are now published in one collection called ‘One Circle’ and are well worth checking out. You can see all the photographs on his website.