Posh frock from the 1950s

The Dress

I love this dress.  I’m not sure quite how I got it, but at some point in the early 80s my mother finally despaired of ever fitting into a slew of my grandma’s 1950s designer frocks from Isabel of Birmingham and handed them over to me.  They were all beautifully designed and well made stylish things for events that people just don’t have any more, like luncheon or canasta with supper.  I had them taken in and wore a few of them to destruction.  This one was a particular favourite, it’s been to at least two weddings,  parties in London, …

Art Washed

Two of my friends lived in buildings that were rented out at ‘affordable’ rents to artists.  They have been moved on.  I visited them both on or around the last days they were there.  In Warren House, Michael found it unnerving to be one of the last people still living in the block.  Some kids had broken in and were making their mark the day I was taking photos, we could smell spray paint coming up the stair well which was both unpleasant and disconcerting.  The day I visited the Balfron Tower, the place was a alive with people gathering …

In the Prado

What with one thing and another, the Prado is mainly warehouse of paintings of people doing shit things to each other in the name of various deities, though mostly the christian one.  That has never stopped me from visiting those kinds of places and I was hugely rewarded by seeing Rogier Van Der Weyden’s descent from the cross in the pigment for the first time.  I watched walrus of art, Waldemar Januszczak, banging on about this painting in an episode of the Renaissance Unchained and he was his usual hectoring self but in this case with good reason.  That said, nothing …

Writing

I write about work in progress, the work of other people and the occaisional random rant.  The categories broadly link some themes as does the tag cloud.

Selfie

Little Races

I’ve been sitting on this forever.  I have wanted to make work about the experiences of transracial adoptees but I’ve been shy and unconfident and full of excuses why I should not do it and lazy, I’m prepared to admit that I am capable of lazyness, just not very good at it because I am also a high achiever when it comes to feeling guilty about lying on the sofa watching daytime TV. Anyhoo, I got made redundant at the end of July from a parody employer.  I sat about plotting revenge for a while and then I thought fuckit, …

People

I’m thinking a lot about portraits at the moment as I am collaborating with other trans-racial adoptees to create portraits that represent us in a way we feel comfortable with our own image.  So I’m reviewing other portrait work I have done.  The relationship between the sitter and the photographer is so much more than point and shoot.  There is a skill to sitting.  There is a skill to managing the pose from both sides of the lens.  I took each of these photographs for distinct reasons and I can see what I was thinking about when I made the …

In Cuba

I stood around by the road a lot in Varadero.  A couple of times I was stopped and people tried to engage me in conversations about the cameras I was using and why I was using them.  I got that through gestures as my spanish is strictly menu spanish, which is about as much use as chocolate teapot in Cuba because aside from beans, rice and pig, the menu was mysterious unless you ate with the other tourists, but that menu was prohibitively expensive and frequently dire. I stood by the roads because the cars are fascinating, but everyone bangs …

The Civil Contract of Photography

I am reading this and it is difficult but also rewarding. I am reading it because I am photographing other TRAs, creating portraits and having discussions about the experience of transracially adoptive/fostered lives.  I am not investigating tracing or tales of reunion with the unnerving prospect of Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell hoving into sight and engineering tearful reunions.  I’m after what the lived experience of being in a world that cannot recognise you as part of what you know to be your family without verbal and written explanations. Azoulay focusses on citizenship, the implication of equality that this term …

Static

This started because I had a massive hangover due to some karoake related parisian shenanagins during a long damp boozy night before.  Me and two friends. who also felt fragile, went to Chartier a no booking super popular restaurant.  I decided to leave my pinhole in the coat rack while we ate.  They thought I was insane, which may be the case, but it’s also true that it worked so I won.  Just over a year later, I was on a train in Brazil, which had been recommended by the same two people and I found myself wondering if like …

Quis Est Iste Qui Venit

‘I suppose you will be getting away pretty soon, now Full Term is over, Professor,’ said a person not in the story to the Professor of Ontography… This is the first sentence of the story ‘O whistle and I’ll come to you my lad‘, if you don’t know it, I cannot recommend it too highly.  Though it is somewhere in the murky area of ghost and horror fiction, not of the grand guignol school, but of the creepy unnerving type that lurks about in the dark corners of your room after you have read the final word, so forewarned is …