Thursday, 30 October 2014

A BLOODY NOSE by Stuart Harper

A BLOODY NOSE by Stuart Harper

I met Stuart when he assisted Laura Pannack on my shoot with her in October 2011. It was a very jolly shoot and Stuart and I got on quite well and so I asked Laura if she could send me his contact details which she did and I wrote asking if he would photograph me and he replied very promptly saying yes. And what do you know? Three years later he did photograph me. In the meantime, we communicated on Twitter mainly about football ( he supports Arsenal and I support Tottenham Hotspur) and also, he started following my Parkinson's Blog, "TODAY, I CUT MY NOSE SHAVING", which was precipitated by me actually cutting my nose shaving - that's tremors for you! He liked the title of the blog as he felt moved by the fact that even something as simple as shaving could become dangerous for someone with Parkinson's. 

Well, it took a while to arrange the shoot but, eventually, Stuart came down to Brighton with a polaroid camera and took a number of shots in different parts of the house but he left the bloody nose shot for the end. I think we both had some doubts as to whether the shot would work. I wondered whether it was still relevant any more as my tremor had almost completely disappeared since my surgery in May 2014. I'm not sure what misgivings Stuart had - maybe it was just that, with the passing of time, the idea had become slightly dated. He had brought some fake blood with him and dabbed it onto my nose and allowed it to drip onto my chest. We looked at the photograph together afterwards and then looked at each other and then back at the photograph again and then we both smiled. It really had worked. And then, when I received this later by email, I was so pleased. The colours are so rich; the blue/green of the background, the brown of my skin and to top the lot, the dark red of the fake blood all of which combine so well but what lifts it up onto another level is the pose which Stuart requested from me. It really fixes the viewer and yet it is not straight to the camera which in itself says so much. The gaze is directed beyond the viewer and says "So bloody what?". 

It really is a superb photograph from every point of view and I commend Stuart for sticking to his original idea and then executing it so brilliantly. When he sent it to me, he said that he hadn't scanned the other photographs he had taken that day but he felt that this - the last shot he had taken on the day - was the strongest. A very nice guy and an exceptionally good photograph.




Friday, 24 October 2014

EMMA CRITCHLEY Part Three

It was dark. She sat patiently waiting for the final glitches to be sorted out. She spoke quietly but that made me even more alert to the words with which she described the ideas that 
she transposes so eloquently into her photographs and her films
All the while as she talked I thought of the exhibition
at Regency Town House that I missed
If you ever see an exhibition 
by Emma Critchley
advertised
DO NOT MISS IT
Emma
illustrated 
her talk by showing
 still photographs and films
I was utterly entranced by her work 
The work that I thought I knew so well and
yet I realised that I knew nothing The film "Aria" was simply 
one of the most beautiful pieces of moving images I have ever seen As the notes soared 
into the darkness of the Fabrica building the body of the swimmer flipped and cut through the
water as if it were flying. It twisted and turned and I felt tears well up as I turned and and twisted with it.  

The film "Heartbeat" featured a woman standing under water with the beat of her heart connected somehow to a strobe light. Emma explained that the longer you stay underwater the slower how heart beats. Wih every beat the light flashed up a silhouette of the model's body and as the film progressed the beat got slower and slower until you thought it was the end and then... another beat.........and another 

This work is of the highest order. It all comes from Emma's deep love of water or her love of deep water and her incessantly inquiring mind always searching for new ways to express what lies in her heart

I am so privileged to have worked with her

I am so privileged to know her

She is a supreme

artist


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Over the Hill comes to Brighton

BEAUTIFUL DECAY by Danielle Tunstall

Over the Hill comes to Brighton!!

56 still photographs and 8 films from my project will be exhibited as part of the Brighton Photo Fringe at Create Gallery New England House, New England Street, Brighton from 4th to 17th October next. The exhibition will feature the work of mainly Brighton based photographers although there will be a few exceptions including the stunning image shown above by Danielle Tunstall; she lives in Leamington Spa which, as we all know, is just round the corner from Brighton. Oh, alright it's not but, for God's sake, rules are there to be broken.

The exhibiting photographers are:-

KANDY ACKLAND
JOSIE AINSCOUGH
JOAN ALEXANDER
TOM ANDREWS
JANE ANDREWS
SILVIA ANGUELOVA
VALDA BAILEY
ALEX BAMFORD
NICOLA BENFORD
MAEVE BERRY
MICHAEL BIRT
STEVE BLOOM
HENRIETTA BOWDEN-JONES
ADAM BRONKHORST
STEPHANIE BROOKS
 JEAN-LUC BROUARD
HEATHER BUCKLEY
ALUN CALLENDER
MELISSA CAMPBELL
EMMA CRITCHLEY
ELEONORA D’AMBROSIO
SEB ECKSTEIN
CHRIS FRIEL
GARY GILHOOLY
STACEY HATFIELD
CLARE HEWITT
JULIA HORBASCHK
VALENTINA LARI
JACK LATHAM
JAMES MACDONALD
INNIS MCALLISTER
KENNY MCKRACKEN
GRANT MCLEAN
KEVIN MEREDITH
KIRSTY MITCHELL
JUSTYNA NERYNG
ERIN O’CONNOR
HOLLY OLIVER
CLARE PARK
TOM PETKUS
JO RENSHAW
SIMON ROBERTS
LUCA SAGE
KRISTINA SALGVICK
MARTIN SEEDS
TOBIAS SLATER-HUNT
JIM STEPHENSON
GENEVIEVE STEVENSON
JO STOWELL
JAYNE TAYLOR
JO THORNE
DANIELLE TUNSTALL
VICI WATKINS
JO WONDER
LISA WORMSLEY

And films produced by the following:-

JOAN ALEXANDER
CHRIS FLOYD
STACEY HATFIELD
CLARE HEWITT
KAREN KNORR
OSCAR LATORRE-BOSCH
ROY PETERSEN
ALISON PALMER


Thursday, 9 October 2014

THE MISSING PHOTOGRAPH


Me and my father

My father was Stanley Andrews born on 20th April 1903 and died on 27th October 1953, aged only 50. I had been born only two years before his death and so I have no memory of him at all. Up until today, I had no photograph of him and me together until my twin sister Sally sent me the photograph below of family and friends including me (being held by Auntie May) my father (standing behind me) and my twin (wriggling in the arms of my mother). 

By all accounts, my father was a brilliant musician. He played mainly the fiddle but could also play the piano, the trumpet, the saxophone, the ocarina, indeed any instrument. He had perfect pitch - the singer Lizbeth Webb told me before she died that, when he was being treated in Westminster Hospital, she went to visit him. She was wearing a set of earrings with little bells hanging from them. She leaned over to kiss him goodbye and one of the bells tinkled and he said "E flat!". He was a superb arranger and often he would work through the night to arrange a tune for a full orchestra and have it on the music stands the next morning having only been given the score the day before. He played with some of the most well known British "swing" bandleaders of the time including Jack Hylton, Jack Payne and Jack Jackson. He also worked with "Hutch", Stephane Grappelli and Vera Lynn. To my utter delight, I learned recently that he played with the BBC Symphony Orchestra on some of the Goon Shows. He wrote music too and we have a 78rpm recording of his tune "Sparks Fly Upward" which Joan Alexander used as a soundtrack to her film of me "Shadow Study: Nocturnal Journey" which can be viewed at Create Gallery in Brighton until 17th October 2014.

(left to right) Sally, my Mother, Mrs Revie, Auntie May, Me, 
my Father, Mrs Roberts, Pat Revie, Cousin Ian Auntie Dorothy

Before he died, he said to my mother "Please tell them all about me" - 'them' being his five children Janet, Anthony, Sally, me and Corinne the eldest of whom, Janet, was only 8 years old when he died. My mother did as he asked and, looking back, it seems there wasn't much because she used to trot out the same old stories but, of course, the same old stories say such a lot. For example, he loved the film actress, Jennifer Jones, and he would storm through the front door and say to my mother, "Get your coat on - Jennifer Jones is on at Hendon tonight". Apparently, he would travel miles to see her say "Help me" in whatever film she says "Help me"; I think it was "Portrait of Jennie".

My Father

I grew up with mainly a feminine household as my brother went to boarding school obviously to return for the holidays but even more so because I hadn't had a father, I found it difficult to relate to older men. If I ever met the parents of school friends or, later, girlfriends, I found it easier to relate to the mother than the father. However, gradually, as I began working as a solicitor meeting clients, it became less and less of a problem. Once, many years go, when I was working at the theatre in Chichester, a man came up to buy a coffee. He looked like my father and he stared at me and I stared at him. It was quite spooky. Someone once put up their hand in front of me and said "This is your father; what would you like to say to him?" and I burst into tears because it felt so real as if he was actually there.  

I don't think about him an awful lot but he is important to me and I shall never forget my mother's stories. He and I are alike in many ways - we share a love of the cinema, I get flashes of hot temper as he did, I am no musician but I love music and it can make me cry. It made him cry too. I have at home a scrap of music manuscript paper with a dried teardrop on it; it fell on the paper as he listened to Vera Lynn singing "Christopher Robin is saying his prayers''. 


I would have liked to have known him, to have played with him, talked to him so that I would know how to have played and talked to my own son perhaps better than I did. But maybe because my mother spoke about him and I have inherited some of his genes, I didn't do too badly.
"Pooh, promise you won't forget about me, ever. Not even when I'm a hundred."
Pooh thought for a little.
"How old shall I be then?"
"Ninety-nine"
Pooh nodded.
"I promise," he said.

So, here is the photograph of him and me. At last. 


Saturday, 4 October 2014

A Private View



A Private View

Whisper it in the breeze,
As it rushes through time;
Say it in the way you smile,
As you swallow your wine.

This gamut of emotions
Which teaches us each day,
Each hour, each minute to learn
How to kneel and to pray.

I found tonight true friendship,
So simple, so pure;
I discovered its hidden secret,
Its mysterious allure.

So come, follow me,
Come join the wars of the past.
Fill up those heaving body bags
Until it is over at last.

I am too tired to elucidate.
How much time is left to me?
All I can do is write these words
And count from one to three.

Whisper it in the breeze
As those who came before have done.
Say it in the way you smile,
As you swallow the crumb.

Take of my shoes, my socks,
My crumpled suit and tie.
Begin to play as we used to

When we had no need to die.




Thursday, 2 October 2014

MAKING IT OVER THE HILL by Roy Petersen

Still from MAKING IT OVER THE HILL by Roy Petersen
Roy was introduced to me by Julia Horbaschk who sent me a link to his documentary film work which was very professional and very impressive. We all met and discussed the possibility of Roy making a documentary about the Over the Hill project including filming some of my shoots. Also, he was interested in the movie films which I make and put out on You Tube and Vimeo. Fortunately, a number of photographers agreed to Roy being present and, in fact, he is so discreet that we hardly noticed he was there.
Julia, Me and Roy on Southwick beach
Finally, he came to the beach at Southwick near to where Julia Horbaschk photographed me and I shot my film “Proms on the Beach” with her help. There he interviewed us both after I had what must have been the worst smoothie I’ve ever tasted at the cafĂ© near the beach although the staff who work there are extremely pleasant. We had a lot of fun on the beach to make up for what had landed in our stomachs shortly before and Roy sped off on his push bike to begin the final edit of what has transpired to be an excellent film and a wonderful memento of the shoots and films featured on it.

Roy Petersen certainly knows his stuff. He is also a very nice man.

WEBSITE: http://www.royzoner.com/ 
FILM ''MAKING IT OVER THE HILL'': https://vimeo.com/107647102