Thursday, 30 May 2013

EMMA CRITCHLEY Part One

Figure of Speech Series 1 - Emma Critchley

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed, well, so far away.
It was a beautiful day. I had hardly slept the two nights 
before and I was meeting Emma Critchley for a shoot 
where I would be photographed underwater. I drove to 
the pool in Lancing but I was late because I had fallen 
asleep but it was one of those deep refreshing sleeps
and so it really set me up for the session with Emma.
I first saw Emma's brilliant work over four years ago when 
another Emma (Davies) sent me some examples of her
work as she wanted to try something similar. Then I 
made contact myself and we met a couple of times and 
talked about what we would do. She wanted to film me as 
well as take stills. I was a bit nervous because, although I
love to swim, I hadn't been swimming since last summer
and, in the meantime, my health had deteriorated. 

I needn't have worried. Emma was very gentle with me
and didn't push me too hard but I tell you something - 
it was glorious swimming again because my legs work
in the water. I felt normal again for a few hours. I just want
to swim and swim now.

It was a delicious feeling just pushing out into the water and
I was naked most of the time which is my preferred method
of aquatic travel. For ''one brief shining moment'', I was the
old Tim again. I am not a very good swimmer and breast
stroke is really all I can do but I love the physicality of 
swimming and the weightlessness. It was truly a beautiful
day with Emma and her assistant Hannah. I am so lucky.

I shall write about Emma and her work more fully once we 
have chosen a photograph to represent her in my project. 


Monday, 27 May 2013

VANESSA WINSHIP


This is from Vanessa's new series of photographs for her book "She Dances on Jackson" and isn't it beautiful? There is a great article by Sean O'Hagan on these pictures in The Guardian.


Vanessa photographed me as long ago as 2010 and this is the post. She is consumed by her passion for photography and believe me, every shot is considered and mulled over and then, eventually, 'click' that decisive, delicious moment when she packs it away into her camera. She takes it all so seriously and then she turns to speak to you with a smile that ripples through you with warmth and love. Look at this woman above - look at the knowledge, the wisdom, the intellect in her eyes and imagine the look in Vanessa's eyes coming back the other way. Now that is communication.

Thank goodness that there is a Vanessa Winship in this world and that one day many years ago she decided for the first time that she wanted to take a photograph. 'Take' seems to be the wrong word - it is a gift.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

OVER THE HILL and DON'T LOOK BACK


2nd June 2013 will be a special, special day for me. That is when, first of all, I shall be opening the exhibition of some of the photographs from Over the Hill at Farley Farm Gallery which is in the grounds of Farley Farm, the former home of the late, great Lee Miller. But, even more exciting is the fact that it is a joint exhibition with Jane, whose wonderful paintings will be on show.

I have written about Lee Miller before and also about Jane and so I shall leave you to look at those posts again if you wish. All I shall add is that Jane has been an absolute rock in a very difficult place and yet....and yet she has produced some astounding work. How? Because she is a brilliant artist and it is all there bursting to come out onto the canvas. Why? She has this urge to communicate her ideas, her comedy and her passion for life and art. 

Sometimes, I sit near her at home and look at her and I imagine all the little cogs and wheels in her brain turning over at a hundred miles an hour or revs per second - well, very fast anyway - and then, suddenly, her eyebrow lifts and another idea has formed in her mind and a few weeks or months or possibly days later, that thought finds itself in a piece of brushwork on a canvas in her studio. She is an incredibly generous partner, a mother with an infinite capacity for love, a woman in every sense of that word and an artist of enormous power. 

Jane Andrews at Farley Farm every Sunday from 2nd June to 31st July. Don't go for that walk, that drink at the pub, that Sunday matinee at the cinema, that visit to Granny, that trip to Ikea, that couple of hours in the study to complete your tax return, that Garden Centre, that coffee with your best friend, that weekly shop at Sainsbury's, that hour in Fitness First or those few hours in the office just to catch up (I'll let you into a secret - you never will). Go to Farley Farm to see Don't Look Back by Jane Andrews and feast your eyes. Then tell your fellow rambler, the guy in the pub, the usherette, your grandmother, the cashier in Ikea, the Inland Revenue, the trees, your best friend, the person behind you in the queue at the supermarket, your personal trainer or your secretary all about it.