Monday, 14 March 2011

WAS IT JUST A DREAM by Tim Andrews

 

So long ago. Was it just a dream? Feels so real to me.

Like a walk in the park. Touch. Like calling your name. Feel.

I know, yes I know.

Over. 

No-one will ever know because they will never believe. If your mind is open you might just glimpse an understanding but it will be gone before you know it. Was it worth it? Yes, just about. Was it fun? Yes, it was stupendous fun. Was it expensive? It was exorbitant. Which one was your favourite? Number One? It was so innocent. So? So. What about the time you cried? I didn't. No, the other time. It was genuine. What about the time you met? Yes, that was genuine. That was definitely real love. Was that the beginning? Or both?

I like diving for pearls.

If I am lost or I am forgiven,
The birds will still be singing.

Number 9. Number 9. Number 9. NUmbee9 numebr 9  Number9 Number9 number9 number9 number 9 number9 number9 Number9 Number9 9 Number 9 . Number9 Number 9 Number (number9 sndumber9s number9 numbeer9 nmber 9 znuzmz`NJjumber 9 Numbeee9



                                                                      THE SLIDESHOW


                                         video


Thank you, Graeme, Mark, Andrew, Simon, Daisy, Mauro, Ellie, Isabel, Josephine, Neil, Hala, Phoebe,  Anthony, John, Tass, Alexey, Ada, Mohir, Ivo, Emma T, Harry H, Carlo, Fabiana, Abi B, Ciaran, Jack S, Aubrey, Sara, Georgia, Dafydd, Robyn, Pedro, Louis, Alex, Lucasz, Michele, Martha, Howard, Inzajeano, Roberto, Simon, Andrea, Ellen, Petra, Stephen, Nikolay, Kiest, Katie, Jagna, Guy, Sarah H, Alessandra, Emily, Jules, Jack K, Dana, Phil, Amina, Alyona, Pascal, Marc, Chris D, Yann, Elwira, Rankin, Emma D, Jeremy, Paul, Patricia, Lucie, Vanessa L, Linda, Kitty, Ania, Dan, Lisa W, Mike, Thom, Steven, Ascha, Sarah M, Leigh, Anita, Spencer, Groman, Balk, Hibi, Kevin, Tara, Vanessa W, Rob, James, Lindsay, Dominic, Linda, Jillian, Jo, Steve J, Tom, Chris M, Silvia, Harry B, Barry, Liz, Justyna, Eleonora, Alistair, Natalie, Steve B, Lisa Wormsley, Tania, Sukey, Antony, Joanna, Monika, Jason, David, Danielle, Louise, Marta, Astrid, Polly, Vicky, Suzanne, Karen, Jane, Frank, Milly and  Abi S.

Tim xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx






Sunday, 13 March 2011

EYE by Abigail Sharp

EYE by Abigail Sharp


Abi is a wonderful, intuitive photographer who is stronger than you might first think and more talented than she realises. Her intention in this shoot, which took place on 15th January 2011, was to home in on my eyes. We found a location in our temporary house in Colgate in West Sussex and she homed in on my face until we got to this distance and she found what she was looking for.

I love it. The different colours in the eye and the direct stare. It seems at first an unemotional, blank look but it is not. It has soaked up all the hopes, doubts, warmth and tenderness in the air and thrown them back through the lens to Abi challenging her to capture them in a blink of a shutter which she has done marvellously.

Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see...

Abigail Sharp

Saturday, 5 March 2011

IN THE CELLAR by Jane Andrews

IN THE CELLAR by Jane Andrews

Jane is a painter. When I began this project in May 2007, neither of us had any idea where it would go. We found out soon enough. My illness has been very difficult for Jane. Initially, there was the shock of the diagnosis, then the shock of my deterioration, then the shock of my immediate recovery under the heavier medication and then the shock of having to deal with someone banging on about what a great time he was having with all these young artists. In the meantime, she produced an astonishing body of work in the form of the series of paintings entitled  "Station of the Skirt", the full significance and meaning of which is now slowly beginning to dawn on me.

Furthermore, it was Jane's idea to have an exhibition and she has given me huge support and wise counsel in the face of the difficulties that I have brought to our door. We discussed several times over the last three years whether Jane would make a contribution to the project in the form of her own photograph and it was when we had to start clearing our beloved Ravenswood at the time of the sale that we thought of photographing me in the cellar which housed all my old junk, a large proportion of which consisted of old Beatles' and Spurs' cuttings dating back to the early 1970s. I knew that it was all down there but then the enormity of what I had done dawned on me - I had spent hours each day reading the articles, reports, league tables, top twenty music charts, reviews, gossip columns, obituaries and then cutting them out with a view to sticking them into scrapbooks to then read all over again at some time in the future. I was preserving the past and taking it with me.......for what purpose? The great thing was that I now knew that I was free of all that.

And so I emptied out a whole suitcase full of this stuff and suggested I stand or sit in the middle of it all. We tried that and also some additional lighting but it didn't quite work for Jane who decided on a lower level of light and that I should bend down and scoop and throw the paper all over the place. As I did so and she clicked away, I saw this period of my life flying past me on its way to oblivion.

I really like the golden, almost sepia like colour of the whole shot which reflects the age and hue of the cuttings themselves and I love the sweep of arm over my shoulder and the fact that my head is obliterated by the blur of paper seemingly rising up from the floor and in the middle of all that movement, the page from the NME with the McCARTNEY headline on it sits there, still and clear, waiting for its turn.

When, subsequently, the British Journal of Photography published a piece in their Endframe section, they asked me to send about a dozen images one of which they would print with the article. I sent them a selection including Jane's photograph and they chose hers. They asked me to let them know the name of the photographer and where I had met him or her. I replied saying her name was Jane Andrew sand I had met her at home! 

A brilliant and worthy addition to the project by a great artist.

Jane

http://www.janeandrews.co.uk/

Friday, 4 March 2011

FEMINA by Milly Kelner

FEMINA by Milly Kelner


I  came across Milly's work through the Brighton Photofringe in 2010 -  I didn't see her exhibition or, indeed, any exhibitions in the fringe but  I got the programme of events and looked up her work, liked it and wrote to her and received a positive reply. We met by chance near the Angel when I was attending a Private View of some other work by Joanna Burejza. Joanna followed me out when I had to leave and we laughed when we saw a red carpet and I joked that it was for me. Then this woman comes up and says "Are you Tim Andrews?" It was Milly but it made us laugh because it seemed that I had a fan club all of a sudden. We met properly a short while later and had a long chat over lunch and, amongst many other things, I told her that I had been brought up my mother, a single parent, with three sisters and a brother and so I had a strong feminine side.

Milly subsequently came up with two ideas for the shoot. One was on the theme of disappearance, as a slow process we all go through with ageing making us less visible to the world. Most of us fight against this and against death. She wanted to treat it with movement and exposure and for me to express myself by jumping and dancing naked. The second idea was to do with our cultural construct of genders. She wanted me to pose with her mannequin,  Juliette (she turns up again), and play with some wigs and other accessories.

Well, we did all this and Suzanne Plunkett was there for a short while to record some of it. It was difficult at first to get into it as I was still reeling from having to deal with making a revised offer for a house in Brighton but gradually, I relaxed and Milly took pictures both digitally and on film. I didn't feel that the shots with Juliette worked as well as the others at first but, as usual, they all began to grow on me and with Jane's critical eye, we ended up with a shortlist of three out of which this was my favourite but it was close. The contrast of the black against the pink skin and the beautiful green of the eyes is dazzling. It says that I am feminine and proud of it and that I don't feel or look daft but I do feel and look different.



They are wonderfully inventive and, amazingly, to me anyhow, they haven't been retouched at all. The second image is on film and was a very, very close second choice. Milly, you are a star.

Milly Kelner (second left)


http://millyk.carbonmade.com/

http://www.csmphoto2010.com/csm-main.htm

KINDERSPEL by Frank Herholdt


I  have no idea how I came across Frank's website but, when I did, I knew that this was the guy for me. His photographs told such wonderful stories and didn't flinch in the telling and they looked so beautiful.

We met at St Pancras Station and chatted for a good while and told each other about ourselves and agreed a tentative date for the shoot. He pointed out later that he had in mind shooting me on an empty country road in the rain. Well, it snowed but it didn't rain and we moved from Milford so my original idea for the country road was replaced by the long track leading to Grouselands where we stayed temporarily after the move.

Frank bowled down with his wife, Helena (also a photographer) his assistant Jennie Nystedt and his young son, Zack having taken a detour to fetch a smoke machine on the way. By then, he had informed me that he wanted me to wear a suit. They arrived and Frank was clearly very anxious to get straight down to it so we drove a short way along the track and got stuck in some mud as we drove into the woods. We then found a spot with this great tree trunk which had been cut down and there followed an hour of Frank barking orders and expletives, Jennie scurrying hither and thither, Helena helping with the smoke and keeping things calm, Zack playing and me gradually getting colder. Then Frank asked if I was wearing underpants and, when I said I was, he instructed me to strip down to them with just my coat on and then to pose with just the pants. I was fucking freezing! Frank was on the ground shooting up at me. Finally, we finished.  By then, Zack had returned to the car to warm up. We followed and I left them to march back to the house to put the kettle on. My feet were like blocks of ice but look at this picture. Isn't it just perfect?

Jane loves my pose which she said is very child like. Frank wanted me to hold on to the branches as in a crucifixion and to keep my feet as they were. I love it.


http://www.frankherholdt.com/

KING SHIVA by Karen Knorr

KING SHIVA by Karen Knorr

I adore Karen's work and so, when she said yes, or rather, didn't say no, I was thrilled. The thing is that she is so busy and involved in so much that you have to be patient and wait for the call and then, suddenly, it comes as it did with me.

I first wrote to her in January 2010 and she replied saying that she may be able to use me in some of her recent work. Wow! We met for a coffee on the terrace outside the Royal Festival Hall where she said that she did most of her casting. In the meantime, I kept nudging her and she would reply asking me about my measurements etc - so, still hopeful. Then, suddenly I was given a date in late November 2010 and she told me that I was to be Shiva and be painted blue all over - yes! And devise a five minute dance - oops. Which would be filmed...gulp. She also asked if I could find a make up artist so I wrote to two with whom I had had contact previously but they didn't reply so I went on the internet and found one whom I thought would be perfect. However, she couldn't do it but did recommend Naomi Gay who said yes.

The shoot had its difficulties in that someone stole all Naomi's equipment on the way to the studio but she managed to pick up a few basic replacement items from a shop in central London including crucially, the blue body paint.

In the morning session, Karen whom, amazingly, had kept her cool whilst we waited for Naomi to arrive   with her substitute make up, asked me to rehearse some dance movements for the still photographs. We  then had a quick lunchbreak and afterwards I was filmed dancing to "Within you, without you" by George Harrison which went really well - I thought of my mother dancing years ago and that helped the fluidity of the movements. Karen seemed very pleased so, all in all, a very good day for everyone involved.

I had a very welcome gin & tonic after having a shower at Karen's home nearby when I also met her lovely family. Then, a few weeks later, I received this great photograph to prove that I had indeed been photographed by the wonderful Karen Knorr.

Websites: KAREN KNORR - http://karenknorr.com/
                 NAOMI GAY - http://www.namnams.co.uk/

POSTSCRIPT 1. The film was never published but it was shown to great acclaim at the exhibition at Create Studios Brighton as part of the Photo Fringe 2014.

POSTSCRIPT 2 - Karen wrote to me in January 2017 asking me for my address so that she could send me some prints. They arrived a few days later in a beautiful black box - a wonderful memento of a great day.

PARK LIGHT by Suzanne Plunkett

PARK LIGHT by Suzanne Plunkett


Suzanne was introduced to me by Joanna Burejza. She works for Reuters and she came up with the idea of shooting me being photographed by other photographers and so we are now in the middle of that exercise. We started off with a second shoot for Joanna, after which we wandered over to Kensington Gardens and she took her own photographs of which this is one. There was also another similar photograph with just me in the picture but I like this one with the child scooting towards me, overtaking me. I used to be that child.


Suzanne has since attended three more shoots. She is a brilliant photographer and at these other shoots, she managed to be there but not there and so there were no problems caused to me or the photographer.

I am really looking forward to continuing our photographic relationship - watch this space!

http://www.suzanneplunkett.com/

BLUE by Vicky Slater

BLUE by Vicky Slater

"Out of the blue, you came to me..."

Isn't this the most stunning photograph? I think it is. Stunning, stunning, stunning.

Vicky asked me how I found her and, at first and as usual, I couldn't quite remember but I guessed it was through a link on Flickr. However, I did eventually remember that it was on a link on Pascal Renoux's website. I liked the look of her images so much - so soft and gentle but not weak and pretty. They seem to be moving in time allowing you to see more as you spend time looking at them. 

We met for a long chat in Salisbury and then went back to Vicky's house for the shoot. We started in the soft light of her front room where I am pretty certain this was taken. She used a Hasselblad film camera and no artificial light. Then we went up to a back bedroom where the light was stronger and tried more straight portraits and then ended up with some of her pinhole pictures in the nude. 


It was a very comfortable, easy day and we talked about working together again which I shall be very happy to do. As I say, I was stunned by how superb the collection of photographs were when  I received them very shortly afterwards and it was very, very difficult to choose one. 

"Every day, I thank the Lord and Lady for way that you came to me...."


SUPPOSEN by Polly Penrose

SUPPOSEN by Polly Penrose


Polly's wonderful self-portraits appeared on the London Photographic Association site as a consequence of her winning the Gold award in the LPA Nude competition. They are beautiful studies with more than a hint of humour and so I was easily persuaded to contact her about the possibility of her working with me. We met in Shoreditch and she was a delight to chat to and it was arranged that we would meet soon for the shoot.

I wanted to really push myself physically as she had done and to continue to explore different body shapes. We proceeded accordingly and experimented. I meant it when I said that I could have stayed all day.


It was difficult to decide which shot to choose for the project but I went for this one because it reminded me about the stories that my mother used tell about my late father (who died when I was two years old). Apparently, he would worry about things and say "Supposing this or supposing that......" but he would pronounce it "supposen..." - hence the title.


Polly Penrose 

http://www.london-photographic-association.com/site/pages.php?fid=0,182,715

WANTED! by Astrid Schulz

WANTED! by Astrid Schulz

This portrait by Astrid is based on the kind of 1950s film poster that used to advertise John Wayne films. I loved going to the cinema when I was little and I love going now and John Wayne is one of my favourite actors. I just adore "The Searchers" and his performance in "The Shootist" - they are both so different. in the former which is a wonderfully romantic and elegiac movie, he is strong but very emotional and vulnerable and in the latter, he shows a different kind of strength, the strength to face up to his impending death. Then there is the glorious "Rio Bravo" with Dean Martin singing the title song "....and I wonder where I wander.......I walk all alone...." Magic.

Astrid creates work of such colour and richness that I really was excited about  what she would create for me. We met near her flat off Tottenham Court Road and talked about my life and what I had dreamed of becoming when I was a child. I told her that I loved Western films and also that I had collected hundreds of cinema tickets over the years. She is a costume designer as well as a photographer and said she would create a special cowboy hat with the tickets on it.


I sent her the tickets in advance and then a few weeks later we met at the studio for the shoot. Using photographs of John Wayne as a guide we tried different expressions and poses. We then retired to her flat for a glass of wine and looked through the photos. Astrid then edited them and the results were tremendous and really captured the style we were after.

I kept the hat.

Astrid Schulz

http://www.astridschulz.com/

http://astridschulzphotography.blogspot.com/

Thursday, 3 March 2011

MOTHER MARY BUBBLE RAP by Louise Haslam

MOTHER MARY BUBBLE RAP by Louise Haslam


I came across Louise's work on the London Photographic Association site which I first encountered through Sukey Parnell. I looked up Louise's website on which she stated that she was a hard working, efficient and very friendly person who loved a challenge, all of which turned out to be quite true. I had not really contacted any student photographers for a while but this description plus the fact that she had bothered  to register on the LPA site made me think it would be worthwhile contacting her. Apart from that, her work looked interesting.

She seemed very keen to be involved and said that my approach had come at just about the right time as she was just thinking about doing some studio portraiture. She explained that she was intending the shoot to last about four hours and she would use both Hasselblad film and digital cameras. She would plan it all out creatively so that she would get the best results but would allow ideas to flow. And that is certainly what she did as, when it came to the shoot at her University studio, she knew exactly what she wanted so far as the lighting was concerned and yet she was quite willing to try different ideas. She had certain specific scenarios in mind but it was when she spied some bubble wrap and suggested that I put it round my head that I realised how willing she was to experiment.



I loved all the images she sent to me and could have chosen about half a dozen but eventually I went for the bubble wrap.

I was very impressed by the way she worked and her meticulous attention to detail allied to this willingness to improvise. I have a feeling that she will be very successful.

http://www.louisehphotography.co.uk/index.htm

STORM by Marta Kochanek

STORM by Marta Kochanek
Is there anything quite so liberating as plunging your hands in a bowl of flour and then pouring it over your body whilst someone photographs you? I can say now, from my experience of the shoot with the lovely Marta Kochanek, that it is great fun to do and, in the process, we got some great shots out of it.

Marta shot on both digital and medium format with a single round light mainly directed from the side which produced great shadows and which accentuated the curves and lines of my body.

Afterwards, with the help of Curtis (Director) and Luke (Cameraman), we shot a film up in the Dome of the Ellen Terry Building in Coventry and then finished off in an alley outside in the cold of an early October evening. The film, as with the still photographs, was centred around the theme of my fight against Parkinson's Disease.

Marta Kochanek
Marta is very committed to her work, very organised and extremely talented. She says:-

"I am a student at Coventry University. I chose Photography to capture amazing and unique moments that may never be repeated. I immediately fell in love; I became a fully satisfied person who discovered a very important thing - Life's path. Photography allows me to look around more attentively, to see different levels of reality and to understand the world through my passion. I was given an opportunity to discover my very deep sensitivity and a possibility to record beautiful moments which will probably never return. I am happy that I can be the one in a million who can perceive the game of light and shadows."

WEBSITE: www.martakochanek.com

BEAUTIFUL DECAY by Danielle Tunstall

BEAUTIFUL DECAY by Danielle Tunstall
I found Danielle's work on Flickr and I drove to her home in Leamington Spa for the shoot. She told me that she asked for a camera only about two years ago and when she was given a pocket camera, she explained that she wanted a proper one. That was when she started taking up photography seriously. At that time, she hardly knew how to use the internet and yet, look at her work now. Even more amazing is that the only additional equipment she owns is a reflector. She has two small children and so works mainly in the evening. She has no studio and no lights - she tends to shoot in the garden which is where my photograph was taken - and yet she produces fantastic results.

She sent me a rough cut of a photograph (see below) which was a taster for the final version which was superb. 



She is very ambitious and hard working and has an eye for a chance so I am sure that she will become very successful.



Wednesday, 2 March 2011

TIM ANDREWS, SURREY, OCTOBER 2010 by David Secombe



David was recommended to me by his friend and fellow photographer, Joanna Burejza, and he came down to Ravenswood to take some photographs in various parts of the house.We had lunch with Jane and chatted a lot. A really nice guy.

I give all my photographs titles but he told me that this was a bit of bugbear with him. He felt it was a mistake to lead the viewer too much by the nose by the addition of 'evocative' titles. Not sure that I agree entirely although it is a bugbear of mine when some Hollywood directors lead cinema audiences by the nose to the extent they can do. Sometimes it is nice to have a helping hand so long as you always remember to think for yourself.

I like this view of the garden. I really like this photograph too; it is peaceful and eloquent. I am looking over to the cherry tree under which I would lie sometimes and read the paper. Jane might come out and wander over to say hello or our dog, Baxter or our late lamented cat, Ernest, with his stooping walk.

What is life all about?


David

http://www.davidsecombe.com/

ORPHEUS by Jason Yeomans

ORPHEUS by Jason Yeomans


Sinking. Sinking.

Sometimes I sink into the depths and I am alone with my miserable self. not a clue.

Crying out in the darkness. Falling. Twisting. Searching.

One day it will all stop so let the feeling persist and don't run away from it. Walk up the hill into the light and see what is on the other side and then look back and smile.

A journey.

Through various stages of truth.

I am no more ill than the next person.

Vis a boom, vis a beng. Next.

PREMONITION by Jason Yeomans


http://www.jasonyeomans.co.uk/portfolio

SAVVY by Monika Gorka

SAVVY by Monika Gorka

I came across Monika's website during one of my journeys through photography sites on the internet and I liked the clarity and sharpness of the images. So, I wrote my usual email and she responded positively asking for a bio which covered simply the things I liked to do as she would want to incorporate my personality in the pictures.

The shoot took place on 13th September 2010 at a studio in Birmingham and we were joined by her fellow photographer, Emma, and her make up artist, Rebecca. She wanted to do some quite strong stylised shots of me standing in my suit on my own and with Emma who would act as a model. We also did some close ups of me playing chess. Great fun and great classical black & white images. But, as with all of these shoots, it was the shoot itself that was so much fun trying things out and meeting and chatting to all the people involved.


And, of course, Monika introduced me to Marta.....

Emma, Me, Monika and Rebecca


http://www.monikagorka.co.uk/

STILL by Joanna Burejza

STILL by Joanna Burejza

I saw Joanna's work at her degree show in the Truman Brewery Building in Brick Lane. It was a self portrait which captured movement and isolation both of which resonated with me for many reasons. Obviously, I have problems with movement in that I am stiff and slow in movement and lose my balance on occasion but there is also the tremor. Isolation? Well, before the project started I found myself feeling lonely when I was out watching cricket or in the cinema but the project changed all that. One might consider that people with disabilities are somewhat isolated or rather, separated from the general community but then that can also be said of their partners who are stuck with someone who has a debilitating illness which can be a huge burden in some ways.

I met Joanna for a chat and she told me that, when she was working at a restaurant in London Bridge, she had asked a young woman if she would like to be photographed. The woman explained that, due to work commitments, she would have to decline but she pointed out that her father was in the middle of a photographic project and she gave Joanna an email address which she lost and so she had no way of communicating. You may have guessed already that the young woman was my daughter. So Joanna found me in the end.
Joanna by Suzanne Plunkett


This photograph was taken in the second of two sessions and the position of the body is what is called a "cat stretch" in Pilates which I have found to be so beneficial. Joanna had found a machine room behind where she worked in Kensington and had persuaded the security guard (a Rangers supporter) to allow us to have access at the weekend. We tried different poses and then came back a second time to fine tune some of the shots including this one. Joanna is very self deprecating but she has huge talent and determination and takes terrific photographs. It delights me to say that we will work together again.

Joanna Burejza

www.joannaburejza.com

PORTRAIT OF TIM ANDREWS by Antony Crossfield

 PORTRAIT OF TIM ANDREWS by Antony Crossfield

I first came across Antony's bizarre and wonderful work through a link on Pascal Renoux's site and then started coming across it everywhere. I wrote to him in July 2009 and he answered almost immediately and said that he was very interested in working with me but warned me that he was noot only very busy but he worked very slowly. I know all about that - trust me, I used to be a lawyer. Actually, lawyers are often criticised for being slow and also for deliberately drawing things out to ensure that they can charge more. However, I never did such things deliberately and I don't know of any lawyer, in my firm certainly, that did. We used to take on too much sometimes but you can't turn work away especially from established clients. Anyway, back to Antony.

He wrote about a month later to ask various questions including whether I could briefly lift myself off the ground by hanging on to a bar above my head which, if you know his work, sounded quite exciting. He told me not to worry if I couldn't as most completely healthy men can't do it but he wanted to know for one of his ideas. I replied saying that I had never really been one for the gym but I would have a go.

We met for a coffee and a chat at Liverpool Street in September 2009 and I felt it was all about me, me me but he said afterwards not to worry as after all, it was me whom he was going to photograph.

Well, he was true to his word because it wasn't until July 2010 that we met for a shoot. It took place at his studio in London and consisted of a lot of test shots for possible future work. He concentrates very hard as he works and seems to know exactly what he wants so I didn't feel it was appropriate to make suggestions as I sometimes do. At one point, I was standing in front of the camera, naked apart from a Batman mask, and some good music came on his ipod and I thought it might look good if I danced but he was working so seriously that I decided against it. But he did take this brilliant picture which I shall treasure.



http://www.antonycrossfield.com/

ROMOLA by Sukey Parnell

ROMOLA by Sukey Parnell


I saw Sukey's portrait of Bill Bailey in the National Portrait Gallery. It was in a line of photographic portraits by contemporary photographers and I was walking past the line on my way to another exhibition but her photograph caught my eye and I screeched to a halt. What struck me was that she seemed to have totally engaged with Bill and introduced into the picture elements of his character which, as someone who does not know him but admires his work, I had no idea existed. I stood there for some time looking round the edges and then into his eyes and then standing back to take in the whole.

So, I decided to write to Sukey to ask her if she would be part of my photographic project which over a period of three years has involved asking various photographers to photograph me. I have Parkinson’s Disease and I no longer work but the point of the project is not to document my illness as such but rather to document me at a time when I happen to be ill.

I was not prepared for what happened next. Sukey readily agreed to take part in the project but grilled me over some weeks about where I saw myself being photographed and what I wanted to represent. Initially, I saw myself in a derelict space lying on an uncomfortable surface. Also, I wanted to avoid being photographed at home because I live with Jane, an artist who works from home and needs her space but eventually, I realised that there was no alternative. It had to be at home to ensure privacy and that I would be occupying my space and not anyone else’s.

The shoot did not go the way I was expecting. I had built a bonfire in the wilderness area of our back garden and I saw myself either lying or standing on it or in it, wrapped in a black sheet. However, we ended up building a set made up of branches and leaves and bits of old wood retrieved from the bonfire and me adopting a rather self important King Canute-like pose, similar to a character in Jane’s painting “Secrets Travel Fast”. We did use the black sheet at first and I suggested a black top hat which belonged to my grandfather. Then we used a blue blanket and, as the shoot progressed, I felt more and more relaxed so that it was a disappointment when Sukey finally called a halt.

By then I was naked under the blue blanket with the hat at my feet…….





The picture of Sukey’s that I have chosen from the shoot for my project shows me with a serious expression but with an open face which l believe is closer to who l am. The blue blanket is slowly slipping off revealing more of my nakedness underneath. Although l have no problems being naked, l did not want to reveal my whole body at that point but if we had carried on for another 15 minutes or so, l would have revealed a leg perhaps. The picture captures the feeling of slowly opening up to Sukey and to the world and that sort of sums up the feelings behind the whole project - the uncovering of my true self and having the courage to do so. In addition to those feelings which, although are personal and invest the photograph with a certain emotion, the whole photograph is excellent - the lighting, the background, the sense of place, the composition, the colour, the strength, the sheer intelligence and yes, curiosity. Scintillating work.

l feel so proud to have worked with Sukey and honoured to have a photograph taken by her. lt was a happy, happy day when l saw the photograph of Bill Bailey in the National Portrait Gallery.



Sukey
http://www.sukeyparnell.com