Every year I shoot one or two BW rolls. Here’s a few old BW motion picture 35mm photographs.
I’ve come to look forward to my annual year in review. I’m not much of a blogger but the odd scraps I write up here are getting a bit better. My website has had a little face-lift too with the addition of a ‘places’ section and a general tidy up.
Last year I wrote that I’d be scaling things back in 2018 which is funny now that I think about it. I’ve packed in more this year than I ever have before. I knew I had to focus on other things, but the universe didn’t really agree with those plans.
Some of the things I’ve been up to, in no particular order…
I exhibited six times. Four times with Shutter Hub (The Shutter Hub Open at 5&33 in Amsterdam and Truman Brewey in London, Because We Can at Festival Pil’ours in France and Girl Town Tel Aviv, at Alfred Gallery in Tel Aviv), a co-headline exhibition called Dino Island and The Lake with Nik Strangelove and at the British Museum Staff Art Show. I was also featured at FIX Photo Festival at Menier Gallery
I moved house and couldn’t stop photographing it
I was 2nd in the judges vote for Women of the Year at FIX Photo Festival
I went to Italy to do a little photography work, and onto Zurich after that to photograph a party
Lomography gave me a Diana 120 to test
I pitched an idea to a magazine, they said yes, and it’ll be published in February 2019.
I’ve just finished working on something with Stylus Boy
I was fortunate to be on the long list of nomations for the Hundred Heroines
One of the non-photography projects I’ve worked on this year has been a pre-requisite for getting to the next stage of something really huge. I’ve gone back chronologically and written, in great detail, about every significant moment in my life and how it made me feel. Doing this kind of work would feel really self-indulgent if not for the fact that someone, in a very professional capacity, needed me to do it. This coincided with winning a place on a cross-boundary leadership programme. If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, I can assure you that I didn’t think it would be mine either. Both of these non-photography related things have been really magical in ways that I hadn’t expected. 2017 closed a few doors for me, but this year they swung back open again.
There are a couple of things in my notebook for 2019. Let’s see what happens.
So much has happened in my life during the last six months. I've been more London based than ever, in part due to a big house move (I've inherited 28 roses bushes), but I managed to squeeze in a magical break in the Isle of Arran and quick jaunts to York and Southend. Arran was a truly picture perfect place, though I was blown over by the wind as I tried to descend a cliff side path on a mountain. Things like this always happen to me. Thankfully I put my camera away just before it happened.
For the last couple of years I've been taking pictures of my mum on her journey through vision loss. Last week her specialists admitted that 'she came to them too late'. Her mission to save some vision was thwarted by a blood clot the size of her entire lung - they said it massive, they meant it. I'm not quite ready to publish the pictures yet because I thought she'd have a happier ending, but I'll get there.
In contrast, I've come to the end of my own years-long-hanging-around-in-waiting-rooms which is like having a chain cut off my neck. When I look at the pictures I've been taking, I wonder if they're better because they have more depth to them but to be honest, I'm happiest taking pictures of a wet landscape and blooms on a blissful morning. It's not difficult to understand why when photography is your true escape.
Some good news... I'm exhibiting with Shutter Hub in a show called Because We Can at Festival Pil’ours, Saint Gilles Croix de Vie in France. That is going to be wonderful. Shutter Hub are wonderful.
Here's a few of the pictures I've taken..
Like a lot of people, I love the turning of a year. I love the newness of January and how it feels like shedding a skin. 2017 on the whole has been pretty amazing, though December has been a beast. As we edge closer to January I thank my lucky stars that everyone I love is still alive.
I set out to push myself in 2017 to do things I hadn't done before. I gave a couple of talks which were well received. I played a small role in an appeal for homeless photographers. I wrote articles - something that doesn't come easily to me. I even blogged more which is a small miracle. I only exhibited once and that was at The Paxton Centre, but my work was published in Oh Comely and presented at the ICA thanks to Emma Watson.
I need to scale back a bit next year but I've just come back from a short meeting to discuss a small possible exhibition on my doorstep with a local photographer. Effra FC also turns 10, so something had better mark that occasion.
The end of last year marked a full stop in a journey I had been on for some years. These years were incredibly difficult and painful, both physically and emotionally. I learned a great deal about myself and the world. I also accepted there are several ways to get to your destination.
I always thought I would be a mother by now. This is quite a difficult sentence to type, let alone say out loud. Luckily for me, I have an incredible husband and a small number of trusted people who are an incredible support. Not everyone is able to demonstrate kindness and perhaps this is in response to the lack of conversations going on in the world.
I feel lucky that my tool box was stocked with the ability to record my experiences through a camera. My relationship with water in all of it's terrifying and healing forms became the vehicle to carry my story along. Last summer during a very isolating medical episode, I asked my dear friend Meg McNulty to collaborate and write a fictional response to my work. Little did I know at the time that she would gift me the ability to step away from the experience and embrace another.
I really want to publish my work alongside Meg's. I haven't been able to do that yet, but I have published some of my images with a few snippets of Meg's words. This series of images isn't static so I expect it could change. It's not entirely edited or sequenced correctly, but I have new chapters to begin living.
The images were all taken on film across a variety of important places I visited during these years.
Thank you my dear Meg for your gift.
Last week I took over the 'Fast Forward: Women In Photo' Instagram account with photographers Maria Baoli and Shelia Zhao. Fast Forward is designed to promote and engage with women in photography across the globe which is resolved at a Tate Modern conference.
We explored the theme of 'extraordinary ordinary'. My contributions to the week are here below in order of posting.
I took this photo in central London, on one of its busiest shopping streets, as I was waiting 30 minutes for someone.
This pinhole photograph of an ocean wave was taken last year.
I selected this photo by photographer Jo Underhill. Jo enjoys exploring and documenting the built environment with a focus on light, material, detail and how people interact with spaces.
This picture is taken from an unpublished series of photographs about an unremarkable looking neighbourhood of my childhood. My 2014 exploration of the physical spaces of childhood was a departure in style, but influenced a significant shift in my outlook towards the present. I now embrace a more mindful approach to photography. 'Letting go' has transcended beyond creativity into an empowering mechanism to cope with personal turmoil.
This wall was sprayed with bullets by the IRA during their terrorism campaign of the '80s. I passed this on my school route and the threat of terror was a daily reality. Seeing the patched up wall in 2014 had a profound impact on me.
I shot this in a fleeting moment during a ground level shot of a small pony in Wales. Its mother trotted into protective view as I took it. This, combined with an accidental double exposure, produced something magical. On this trip I'd witnessed distressing cruelty to horses and ponies suffering obvious signs of neglect. This moment was uplifting.
Lights from Piccadilly, London.