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 …

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 …

Gas and Garbage

In July 1991 I arrived at Gdynia, the Polish seaport where the cracks in communism had not long since opened up into crevasses and swallowed a 70 year old ideology.  I arrived on a boat from Tilbury because I had thought it would be a really cool way to arrive in Poland.  We had sailed up the River Tees for some reason on our journey and I’d witnessed the last gasps of the heavy industry that had informed Ridley Scott’s landscape in Blade Runner.  Then we’d sailed over Denmark and into the Baltic finally stopping at the green and rusty …

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 …

Surface and Light

We put up our first e5Process Exhibition in the Archive Gallery at the Rose Lipman Library, ex-home of my old alma mater Open School East in mid November. An exhibition of experimental photography practice from the E5 Process Darkroom Collective.  Archive Gallery, Mill Co Project, Rose Lipman Building, 43 De Beauvoir Rd, London N1 5SQ. Artists: Guy Paterson Tina Rowe Ben Bradish Douglas Nicolson Sebnem Ugural Liz Loveless Adrian Ensor Pauline Morphett Rachel Thomson Balint Bolygo Event Photos on Facebook

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 …