1. sila

    “In a hospital in the middle of Kreuzberg, the first capillary roots of my then newborn child started to sprout. Sila was the name we gave to the little being with the tiny fingernails.
    This work is dedicated to Sila. “

    Where is Sila? I asked Tabita once in a dream. - Don’t worry dear, she is the ocean - was her answer. In the morning, and already fully awake, the spell of her words enhanced my awareness of everything beyond myself: the invisible vital force guiding life.

    There is a pan-Inuit word, sila, which means many things: the open sky, the space outside, air, wind(s), weather; nature, the natural order, reason, common sense; the world, the universe, consciousness. The vastness of its meaning sets sila apart from common speech. Sometimes, it finds unity as a deity, Sila, the cosmic breath-soul is at once all there is and the breath that brings it into existence.

    The sila is also described as “the outside”. We live in the space between the land and sila. Reality, both the one we see and the one we sense and feel, are realms determined by sila, but are not it: the unattainability of it all.

    Truly observing reality, the physical and metaphysical, is also an act of recognising that we can never fully grasp it. It is the constant acceptance of the uncertain, the mystery, and the inexplicable. Both the word sila and its meaning, are rooted in the understanding, and embrace, of how much of reality we cannot truly attain. Like sila, which simply
    is, the world is ungraspable through the words, the pictures, the sounds, and
    everything else we create to try getting closer to it.

    Sometimes though, the thin and porous skin between the parts of the world that we see, the ones that we can only sense, and the unknown ones, are slightly blurred. Tabita Hub’s collection of photographs SILA, named after her young child, are some of those pores on the invisible membrane that permeates all depths of reality. Taking pictures only with a phone camera, Tabita witnesses, with reverence, the fleeting quality of everything, bearing things as they are; embracing the baffling and the inexpressible in the experience of being.

    Her pictures are hints of what lies beyond the visible: the uncanny of an immediate reality that is also unspeakably far away. In each beam of light or casted shadow, every fingernail, every bit of hair and skin, every reflection, texture or colour, rupture and wound; in the rocks, the water, and the sky, we find ourselves plunged into a world of strange but familiar sensations. The world of a young mother and her little Sila who, as in my dream, convey the fluidity and intimacy of the unfathomable essence of life.

    Daniela Elorza

    Archival inkjet-prints on Hahnemühle Satin Baryta.