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.

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 …

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 …

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 …

The Indefinitive Moment

Much of the vocabulary around photography is about stopping time for us to examine it, that decisive moment notion that the purpose of photography is to capture the fleeting and from that flows the idea that there is some ownership of what is in essence a coincidence.  This is further compounded by the notion that there are some special photographers whose shutterclicks are some how more precise, more intelligent, more special than those of mere mortals and with that magical gesture they are better at seeing than the rest of us.  Well permit me to say, that is just bollocks. …

Me and my brothers

This isn’t a suntan and I haven’t been on holiday

So I got my first “You’ve got a lovely suntan” of  June yesterday. The person who asked me realised half way through that she was asking a potentially problematic question and veered off into the world of holidays and sunshine, but the damage was done. It didn’t help that I was at an opening and the people I was with had been at the sauce for a while so their I’m going to pretend I don’t know how much that pisses Tina off faces didn’t quite coalesce fast enough for my new friend to not catch it and start looking …

An Elizabethan Poem in an Unexpected Place

So I am sitting next to my semi-conscious mother on the medical assessment ward and I suddenly find Thomas Wyatt’s “they flee from me that sometime did me seek” sloshing about in my head.  Until now I had always thought it the self dramatising lament of a roué in his cups having just been knocked back by a teenage waitress.  But right now it seems entirely appropriate. Most of the patients on the medical assessment unit are old.  Properly old. My mother will be 90 on Wednesday if she survives, and I am not sure she is the oldest.  Everyone is …

I am not an atheist, however…

I just had a ‘discussion’ with an american christian on twitter. He ended up asking me if I was a liberal theologian. I have never been asked that before. I’m liberal, I’m educated and particularly interested in history and religion because they are so intertwined, but the very idea that I would have to be a theologian to think the way I do about faith and god and all of he other stuff was kind of shocking and completely hilarious if you know anything about the way i was bought up, which was as an atheist, not a ranty dawkins …

My Mother’s House

My mother lives in a care home. She sits in a chair with her back to the window alone watching television all day. My brother recently put one of those convex blind spot mirrors so she could see out of the window like the The Lady of Shalott. Her life is arranged on two shelves and in various draws in an area of roughly 2 square meters. She refuses to go to the communal rooms because ‘it is full of dotty old people who can’t talk sense’ and that is to some degree true as there is everything in this …

My practice went to Barcelona and all I got was this tiny badge.

  I have been on an artistic exchange in the Catalan village of Vilassar de Dalt as part of the Revela-t analogue photo festival with nine other artists and it was great. Well the first night when we almost had to walk 10km back to hostel wasn’t a high point and if I am honest sitting through a movie in Catalan subtitled in Spanish before that was also not a high point and I won’t bore you with the details of the full English tribute breakfast I had for dinner which to be honest was definitely not a high point, …