Sunday, 19 October 2014

OVER THE HILL: A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY

OVER THE HILL by Roberto Foddai

          
‘Alright boys, this is it, over the hill’ is the intro of the song “Bring on Lucie” by John Lennon and, although the phrase ‘over the hill’ has somewhat negative connotations, it is announced on the record in a very positive way by Lennon who goes on to sing ‘Do it, do it, do it, do it now!’ and so, for me, the title of this exhibition is optimistic despite the double meaning.

In May 2007, I answered an advertisement in Time Out from Graeme Montgomery, whom I know now to be an extremely talented professional photographer. He was compiling a book of nudes and wanted to photograph the first 100 people to answer the advert so I thought ‘why not?’ and went along and found that I was number one! Strangely enough, two other photographers advertised in the following two issues of Time Out, this time for people to pose for portraits, and they both photographed me subsequently. That was that for a while until, in February 2008, I answered an advert in our local newspaper from a student, Daisy Lang, who wanted to photograph people with illnesses for her final year’s project. Subsequently, I discovered that there were many photographers advertising on the Internet for models for particular projects. I wrote an email to the first photographer explaining that I was 57 and had Parkinson’s Disease and that ‘I wanted to continue on my path of being photographed by different people during the course of my illness’. Suddenly, as I wrote those words, I realised that I had my own project.

Since then, over 300 different photographers have photographed and filmed me and it has been incredibly interesting and exciting as I have seen the project develop day by day. I have met many wonderful, skilful people many of whom, normally, I would never have met let alone spent several hours with them.

It has been a fascinating journey. I have always loved photography but never had the patience or skill to practice it successfully. However, being a model has enabled me to collaborate with brilliant practitioners of the art and to be part of the artistic photographic process.

I decided on "Over the Hill" as the title of the project in January 2009 but I had not discussed this with anyone until I met Roberto Foddai a few weeks later to talk about his ideas for our shoot. He produced two pieces of headgear he wanted me to wear and said that one of them had some wording on it which he felt was somewhat ironic. He turned it over and on the front were the words  – ‘Over the Hill’.


This project is dedicated to my wife the artist, Jane Andrews, who has taught me about integrity, truth and wisdom through acts, words and deeds all of which are encompassed in her truly wonderful paintings which can be found on www.janeandrews.co.uk

Free the people, now.
Do it, do it, do it, do it now.

Tim Andrews


4 comments:

  1. Tim discovered this blog today and I must say I find it brave you being photographed that is. I suffer from MS and whilst I put the occasional shot of me up on my blog I will have to consider how I would feel about doing it for others rather than family.How do you feel about it? I am trying to seperate the man from the disease and failing at the moment, or maybe I AM OVER THE TOP. Don Wood

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  2. Dear Tim

    My husband, artist Zak Benjamin www.zakbenjamin.com was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1996, when he was 44 years old. The implantation of a Deep Brain Stimulator in 2008 has given him back the use of his hands, but he's pretty much on his last legs, as the device does not help for loss of balance. It also does not help for loss of speech - so he's fast retreating into silence.

    I am so impressed with and moved by your life-affirming project. Thank you!

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  3. Hello from Bulgaria!
    I have come upon this site from Maja Daniels's site and
    ever since I have read the story of Over the hill, and saw her contribution, a big part of me just knew what I wanted to do.
    If there is a way (I am a poor student) that I would have the possibility to contribute to your project, I will be more than happy to.

    If you by any chance have interest of my previous work:

    www.angelshterev.blogspot.com
    or for the urefined work
    www.flickr.com/gstance

    thank you and all the best!

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  4. Hey Tim! My name is Cameron Von St. James and I had a quick question for you! I was wondering if you could email me at your earliest convenience at cvonstjames AT gmail DOT com :-) I greatly appreciate your time!!

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