Images from 1972
I took these Photographs when I was a student at Fotoskolan in Stockholm. The photos developed into a series as I visited two elder women who lived together at a house for the aged in Stockholm. The name of the house is Betania and it still exists.
I went to visit the women once in a while during some months at the end of their lives. The thing was that Bertha was my girlfriend’s grandmother so my visits became natural and the idea of making a reportage was not really the main thing. However the photos grew together in a natural way and became a story.
I developed the films Tri X in a 10-litre tank with D 76. This tank was a community tank used by the other students so that you never knew how fresh the developer was. The results were not too often accurate and some of the negatives turned into quite thin and soft ones. However this was not a disadvantage as I saw it afterwards. The photographs got a kind of lustre which strenghtenened the contents.
Bertha and Svea, as the other woman's name was, were very much depending on each other and when Bertha faded away, Svea followed her after some weeks. More or less these images have been in my company for years. In 1972 still at Fotoskolan I was rewarded by a Swedish Photo magazine and named as one of three young photographers. Last time they were shown was in Berlin 2003. ©Peter de Ru, April 2008
I was very glad to hear from Peter the other day and receive these excellent photographs. See more of Peter de Ru on the F Blog as one of our invited guests. You should also check out his site peterderu.se /ulf