|ALMOST THERE by Ania Mroczkowska|
Almost there. Looking forward.
There was film a made in 1964 called "I'd rather be rich" in which the American crooner, Andy Williams, sings a song to Sandra Dee called "Almost There" whilst he is driving a car. They are happy and carefree and in love with each other and with life and why not? Life is wonderful. Certainly when there are photographers like Ania about to take photographs like this. I came across Ania's work on the Portrait Salon site and immediately said to myself ''Yep, she's the one for me!'' Her portraits were large and out there - they demanded my attention. There is a guy pulling at his beard but looking you straight in the eye, a girl parting some curtains looking intently through her glasses and a man drawing on a cigarette fixing you with his gaze through the plumes of smoke. But it is the picture of an older man with his eyes closed which really grabs me but more subtly than the others. His skin around his neck is lined and wrinkled, his bare chest flecked with brown hair which contrasts with the soft grey whisps on his head, two vaccination scars are sunk into his left arm and the glint of the gold of his wedding ring replicates the sparkle in his gentle, accepting eyes which have opened in the two pictures which follow. He has been examined by Ania's camera lovingly and carefully and it was no surprise to hear from her on the shoot that this is her father.
Ania is an interesting person. The furniture in her tidy flat which she shares with her husband is neatly set out. There is no junk. And she proceeds with the shoot methodically and calmly. We talk a lot about life and photography. She asks me to remove my shirt, to sit this way and that, to lean on a walking stick. We talk some more, about my project, about nudity and then seemingly in the blink of an eye, I am at her door saying goodbye. But in that time, her mind is whirring, sorting, shifting and examining and she produces another glorious portrait but this time it is of me. And one thing I notice in it is the little flash of light from the handle of the walking stick like a drip on the end of my middle finger and I look up to see a ping of light in my right eye and I wonder if she has noticed it too and that is why she chose this particular image. Light, harmony, detail, investigation and purity. Just some of the elements which Ania harnesses and then sets out for all to see. It was indeed an honour, Ania.
Yes, I am almost there.