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.
I met Catherine in year 10 when I moved to Stawell and started at the local high school. We hit it off pretty much straight away.
She was pretty, intelligent, articulate, a talented illustrator and photographer, very into music and a very good friend. Over the years, very little has changed.
Despite our respective movements around Australia (both of us) and the UK (me), and the odd loss of contact here and there, we have managed to keep our friendship alive.
We were always willing subjects for each others' various assignments: I acted in her TAFE black & white 16mm film (which I wish I had been able to see!); she let me drape her in chains and seaweed (on separate occasions).
We have both been supportive and encouraging of each others' art, whether it be visual or literary.
During my road trip with Philip Ivens through the eastern states of Australia, we were lucky enough to arrange to meet Catherine and her partner, Aaron, to spend a long Easter weekend on Aaron's family's property, Shady Rest, in Wombeyan Caves at the base of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.
The time spent there was a great opportunity for me to catch up with Catherine and Aaron, but also turned out to be a very inspiring one, with the old home site at my disposal to shoot self-portraits and other photographs amongst what was left of the previous home. I felt very spoilt.
During my time there, I only managed to snap a few shots of Catherine. She is animated to the point that finding a moment of calm in her is often impossible. Her mind and her body move at a rate of knots most of the time.
And though usually I would avoid shots like these; shots where someone is playing up to the camera, and specifically dropping into a defensive stance - the single finger salute taking centre stage - I think this actually sums up Catherine quite well in some respects.
She is done with the niceties of life. She doesn't really care too much what you think about her and how she lives her life. She's all about being in the moment and living her life the way she wants to. And she does.