I woke early this morning because my brain was switched on to thinking about new artworks. I’ve been busy and distracted by other projects, but exhibition deadlines are looming and I’d dedicated this weekend to creating new works, finalising works in progress and creating a folder of possibles and probables. Given that it’s hard to create anything when you’re lying in bed, I got up deciding to do one final shoot (I know Kent, I said on Friday night I now had enough raw material sitting in folders to work from…). I wanted to focus on three scenes centred on childhood preoccupations (mine, at least) of collections & ceremony, with a random idea of consequence in my head.
I collect the props, gather up the camera and tripod, engage the junior photographer of the house to document the shoot, put on some warm layers (it’s about 6 degrees outside and breezy) and head down the back of our property to a spot that would offer up the textural backdrop I required. Between a minor malfunction with the tripod, frozen fingers, a rising temper and an overly helpful assistant, I was regretting the decision to do this shoot before I had even really started.
The first scene, which had played out so beautifully whilst lying in bed this morning, did eventually surpass my expectations. Getting the camera to perform was more the challenge, exacerbated by the time pressure of having my prop (an old book) going up in flames before me. The second scene, involving a candle and lichen-covered rocks, didn’t quite work as I’d imagined – the light was too dull and the air too cold to generate the required amount of smoke. The final scene went to plan. The entire time, I’m conscious that my documentary photographer/assistant was shooting some very unflattering angles – including close-ups of my backside. You would think your own flesh and blood would be more empathic. She then demanded my camera when I’d finished to do her own shoot! I’m being upstaged here.
I can’t promise that there won’t be another shoot between now and the end of the month – August will be dedicated to production – but, at least I’m getting close to having two bodies of work for public exhibition in September and December.