Binmaley, Shelled Cathedral Figures
"A big Catholic Church at Binmaley (Lingayen Gulf) was used by the Japanese to store munitions. It was shelled by US Navy ships in the Gulf. These statues were salvaged by local parishioners and assembled in a corner." From "Darkroom Soldier": "Cathedral Tableau. The largest church in the province and visible for miles offshore, Binmaley Cathedral attracted Hill's attention. After Army intelligence had determined that the Japanese were storing supplies and munitions in this sanctuary, Navy warships reportedly shelled the building. Dissatisfied with photos from his visit to the cathedral, he described the image he wanted to capture: 'In one corner were about a dozen figures of Biblical characters that had been salvaged from the altars and huddled together. Figures about three feet high. There is a statue of the Virgin with Baby. Will take strong afternoon light to get it.' A week later, Hill returned to the cathedral to find 'the sky got just right for a picture I've been waiting a week to take.... Inside, I shot through a huge shell hole in the roof at the bell tower with a blue sky background. Tried the figure of the Virgin holding a headless Christ child, but it is in the most difficult position -- for light and background -- of any object I've ever tried to shoot." ("Darkroom Soldier" caption authored by George Venn)
Helten, Paula (curator)
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Binmaley, The Philippines
From the Collection of Fred Hill