If by default a photograph captures a moment in time, then Hungarian photographer Marietta Varga’s images attempt to capture the memory of that moment. In “My Town - Siófok II”, a series of photographs taken in her home town of Siófok on a cold, winter morning, London-based Varga attempts to visualize her memories of the place she grew up in, or, to use her own words, to see it precisely as it exists in her mind.
A popular holiday destination for Hungarians on the southern bank of Lake Balaton in Hungary, but Varga eschews the picturesque parts of the town for the streets she grew up in. Taken in the hazy light of an early morning in winter, when the streets are almost deserted and the trees and ground are covered with frost, the images have a dream-like, cinematic quality that perfectly evokes a sense of nostalgia. The pink and green pastel hues of the urban setting that Vargas has chosen to capture further deepen this sense by alluding to childhood memories, as does, for that matter, the presence of a basketball court and a playground slide.
As Varga says, “our childhood memories and happenings, forgotten but deeply saved inside, become a part of us forever”, which explains why despite most viewers seeing the streets of Siófok for the first time, the photographs still manage to take them back, like a dream, eliciting distant memories of childhood blitheness.