A proper update is most certainly in order but, suffice to say, for now, that I'm still here, despite appearances to the contrary. I promise an update will come in the new year, if not before.
This update comes a little late, given we posted at the start of December, but the current weaving words into light collaboration between Sarah Mercer and myself, was inspired by Leonard Cohen's song, 'In My Secret Life'.
With the arrival of the new year, I'm determined to make a stronger effort to post updates to my blog, whether in the form of new work I'm creating, or older images I've managed to now work through and edit.
I managed to edit quite a lot of older work during the past year or so, but very little of it made it onto my blog, or even onto my website, so I hope to rectify that this year. Many of the posts will be image posts, but maybe I'll even manage some words here and there.
2013 was a good year for the most part, though for much of it I felt like I was in a holding pattern:
I made a conscious effort to minimise my shooting and concentrate on the mammoth backlog of images stored on my hard drives that had not been seen by anyone but myself. I managed to complete editing of thousands of photographs taken during a road trip in 2009, another road trip in 2010, and the majority of photographs taken during my residency at Hospitalfield in 2011. The bulk of posts to come will allow you to see that work.
I'm still working through the self-portraits from my residency and working on creating my interior / exterior book, and I'll keep you updated on the progress of that.
I was pleased to have my work exhibited in London for the first time in October, at the Printspace. That was definitely a highlight for me. I hope it will be only the first of many exhibitions here in the UK.
My partner, Kyle, joined me in London in mid-July, which was a pretty momentous and long-anticipated event, after having been in London for 2.5 years already myself at that point. We are quite excited that in the next week or so we will move into a flat of our own, which will no doubt give a greater opportunity for new shoots. Effectively living in one overcrowded bedroom can tend to stifle one's inspiration.
2014 is definitely feeling like a year of promising beginnings and it is upon my shoulders to ensure I maintain momentum. I am optimistic...
I've been collaborating with Brisbane writer, Simon Groth, on i see a pattern forming since May 2011. Though our posts have been minimal lately, this is still a work in progress, and the concentration of late has been more about how to make this collaboration come to life in a place other than the internet.
A recent collaboration with McKenzie Johnson, an American photographer currently based in China, is much less formal, and taking place as a sort of dialogue, loosely titled 'Alone Together'. We are currently posting the first tentative responses to each other via Flickr, but may take the conversation to a place more consolidated in the future. I will keep you updated on that.
Slightly more recently, myself and Canadian photographer, Sarah Mercer, have taken to collaborating one on one after being involved in the Divine Diptych Project. We both enjoyed that experience, which often took a second place to life for many members of the Divine Sisterhood, so we thought we'd branch out on our own.
The work we are producing for this project is based on themes coming from song or movie titles and quotes, weaving words into light. Some images, like the first, will be diptychs, but that is not a requirement of the project. We're both excited about where this might lead.
Right: the melody censor
Though I did trawl my archives looking for something, due to feeling a little uninspired in terms of shooting something new, I decided that I didn't want to submit an image that was the easy 'go-to' of plants, and the most 'diverse' predominantly green image I had was of a cactus.
With the green dress seen above in mind, I originally thought about shooting self-portraits in it with my matching green tights, but then had the idea of a bouquet of green 'flower alternatives', which ended up being some tender stem broccoli and asparagus.
As I've recently found some nail polish that dries in 40 seconds, so have actually started wearing nail polish again regularly and buying colours that match to my outfits (purple being my favourite so far), I figured I'd track down some green nail polish to complete the image in my head. The nearest I found was aquamarine, so I tweaked the overall image a little to get a more pure green colour (I also gave myself a Photoshop manicure, reapplying the nail polish to my chipped fingernails, as I polished my nails last Sunday night).
I love that Susan expanded upon her original idea by including a 'pepper purse' in her image after seeing my image! I love her vibrant colours, and that we both look like we're getting ready for a prom or something, and those shoes!
Left: Merle Pace
From Merle's Flickr post:
Selkies are Seal Faeries from Irish and Scottish Myth. In the sea, they are seals who swim with their seal sisters, but they also come on land on nights of full moons and transform into women and dance with their seal sisters. This is when men can steal their seal skins to marry them, as they are known to be the best of and most loyal wives, and they go on to have children and a family on land. But, the Selkie woman is always longing for something. If they discover their seal skins, they have the terrible choice of staying with their human families on land, or returning to the sea with the constant call of their seal sisters, which is so much stronger than their mortal family.
I love this story and concept so much, but was really struggling to put together something I felt captured the idea in the vivid way I would have liked.
My full time day job and other distractions have been a real inspiration-killer for me lately, though I'm working on fixing that [which is also the reason I'm posting this so late...]
My image is a montage of a swirling, animal skin-type cloak I borrowed from a friend for a shoot as part of my 365 days series, and a self-portrait from about 2009. I wanted to capture the sense of the sealskin mingled with water. Merle flipped my image to face right-to-left and adjusted the colour a little in this version to make it work more harmoniously with her wonderful, dreamy image.
She also put together two other pairings which I think are also both beautiful, which you can see below.
There is nothing new except what has been forgotten. - Marie Antoinette
Over: Bee Brady
Attributed to Marie Antoinette, the phrase kept circling through my mind as I was shooting a series of self-portraits in the bathroom at my friends' apartment in Edinburgh last month.
The memory aspect hinted at by the quote played a part in my thoughts, but for me it also spoke of the repeating cycles that we go through in life. The way that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Or that perhaps the more you think things have changed, that you have changed, that often you find yourself back in the same place, a place you have tried to avoid and steer clear of for so long, but before you realise it you are falling back into.
Though both of our images are somewhat overwhelming in terms of detail and objects in the images, I feel it suits the theme, as memory is like that: overwhelming, cluttered, complicated and messy. Every time you recall a specific moment or place you remember more or different aspects, and there is often too much to take in to really remember everything as clearly as you'd like to think you do.
I enjoy the various references to memory and nostalgia in Bee's image: the mirrors, the camera, the clock, the candelabra, the vintage items. The sense of reflection and angles, and being submerged in the moment.