oo some pics of the 2012 olympic torch for you in my next blog but until then I’ll have an update on some work in progress. The first project I’ll talk aboot is a staged series of a children’s poem called “Fancy That!” or otherwise know as There Was An Old Woman Who Swallowed A Fly. If you know it you’ll be aware that involves a multitude of animals.. animals that I don’t exactly have access to at the moment.. So I’m making do with what I can and may actually be completing the series with toy/ model animals and there’s also been talk of using illustration and digital manipulation. I am determined to do this project again with the real animals before I die but for the time being I have done a test shoot of one image only- specifically the part of the poem where the old woman swallows a bird, how absurd to swallow a bird! She swallowed the bird to catch the spider that wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her, she swallowed the spider to catch the fly, I don’t know why she swallowed the fly, perhaps she’ll die.
Anyway here it is, I will be doing a re-shoot very soon (the final series will be on medium format as well) as I need to make myself look a lot older, and I was kind of sunburnt on this shoot… but you get the general idea:
The bird was found on ebay, I don’t know whether to find something a little more common looking though- a sparrow or something with brown feathers instead of blue. We’ll see. It’s not real by the way it’s a clip! Either way this whole series has been heavily influenced by Sarah Small.
Next is the “Breaking Point” idea that was born through an Ideas-generation scribble in one of my sketch books. It stems from one of my old tableau ideas of looking into moments of people in their relationships – their situation, personality etc and it was literally just a side note until Graham noticed it and picked up on it’s potential as a series of it’s own instead of a situation for a couple in a staged piece. So we’ll be collaborating on this series which revolves around annoyances that are encountered in the home and with other people and as it’s title will suggest, it will capture the moment just before the protagonist breaks.
These annoyances will range from the little, everyday things that build up until you crack to bigger things that happen in the home or with your partner and will explore themes of pressure and patience in a variety of situations and with different personalities/ characters.
And as you can see here this is a very big annoyance. A roof leak is probably one of the biggest and most difficult situations that we’re going to tackle on this project (and may return to this a well) as it required a lot of editing to get the drops juusst right. As for the character, I wanted it to look like he had been sat for a fair while- almost like he had sat through the whole process of the rain falling in and the heaviest of the leaks in his ceiling, as you can see by the half filled pans and glasses, and was now just about to, well, let go. As an added frustration I also wanted it to look like he was just getting ready for work when this incident occurred which is why he is dressed in a now damp shirt and also why the morning sun is so bright on the curtains. In actual fact we shot at night, I got to use my new flash kit for this so once I got the composition and the light right it was quite a fun shoot, I got to spill water and everything haha and Graham and I have always worked well; he knew what expressions I meant for his character to have, the most difficult aspect of this was getting his reflection right in the mirror and even that wasn’t a strenuous task. Which I why I’m now thinking we will do some more bigger annoyances/ situations.
I picked these two of my many projects to start off with because a. they require next to no money, b. I have everything I need ready available- location, people, props etc and c. because it means I have one narrative I can create myself and one that is already written for me. I generally stick to creating my own stories but currently I have a few on the back burner that are interpretations of scenes from novels etc which I am looking forward to getting on with. Whether you re-invent an already existing story/ idea or go out and find your own story is a never ending debate for me, and I hope now I’m beginning to find the right balance.