|AN OPEN BOOK by Rekha Garton|
I first saw Rekha's work showcased in the Professional Photographer Magazine in early 2011 and she replied positively to my standard email (the basic form of which has not altered in 4 years) exclaiming her excitement and asking what type of photograph I was looking for. She explained that she had just been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease and so had to wait a few weeks for her body to recover before she could do anything. Well, it took longer than that partly due to our move and all the work to the house but we kept in touch and eventually we met on 24th February 2012 in Norwich. She was accompanied by her very handsome boyfriend, Matt, who also happens to be a very nice person.
Matt drove us, quite swiftly but safely, to a field a little way out of town where Rekha took some pictures of me with paper darts flying around me. Then we moved onto another field and she shot me holding an umbrella which she intended to use to make it appear that I was floating up out of a teapot. Then she photographed me with my coat open which she was then going to alter to include a book. I was reading the enthralling biography of Frances Partridge at the time so we used that which was rather appropriate and much better than using any old book. Finally, she took some photos of us both together.
We went back to her place and I met her charming mother and I showed her and Matt some of my silly YouTube films before they set me back down in Norwich. I had a bite to eat and then looked round the very impressive cathedral. I didn't stay too long. At one point I looked around and wondered what it (Christianity) all meant to me now. Not much, I began to think but then I looked at one of the modern pine chairs in the Nave and, strangely, I could feel myself sitting there and I found the feeling comforting. I wrote to Rekha about this experience and, writing this a few weeks afterwards, it occurs to me that meeting Rekha was a spiritual experience itself. She has experienced illness at a very young age but there is a simple beauty (not just physical) about her and her manner that is very uplifting and easy to tap into. She seems very fond of Matt whose gentle demeanour is probably just what she needs now. Yes. It was a very therapeutic encounter which has come as a surprise.
In some ways, therefore, the photographs are almost incidental. Nevertheless, they are uniformly excellent. Initially, I chose another shot for my project but Rekha preferred the one with the book and I was cool with that. The title chose itself really - I am an open book or, at least, I reveal more of me than ever I used to.
And what of Rekha, the photographer? Well, see for yourself. I don't have to say anything do I?
Me and Rekha
See her work: http://www.flickr.com/people/_rekha_/