My focus this year is photographing the daily life of families. I want to see what ordinary life looks like and have set myself the challenge of creating art out of the chaos of everyday life. Plus I get to play with fabulous parents and their splendid children! So most of my work will be capturing the moments that tell your stories and finding the light I obsess about.
I have decided to work on my art based family project too, and this ties in with my commercial work. It is actually a kind of relief to know that I must work over and over on one thing until I have work worthy of winning something big - okay you know I’m ambitious and I want my work to be art - but why would you pay for the mediocre? You want to know that I shot the moments that will bring a tear when you look back. I am trying to revive the family photo album. I worry that all we have is digital and what happens if we loose it?
On Mother’s Day I saw many posts on Facebook about Mum’s and lots of old photos. I love digital but there is something so poignant about those old phots that I have of my Gran and she looks glamorous and fun. I’m not sure I remember enough of her without the print in my hand. When I hold the phots I remember her scent and the tone and rhythm of her voice. I want to make books for the families I shoot. Or ribboned boxes of prints.
Below is a poem by Yeats. I love his work. He wrote this for a woman but it could be a poem for all of the people we love who grow old with us. When he writes “book” I think of a photo book. Enjoy!
When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
Yesterday I sat in class all day learning about fundraising and writing my artist statement. I nearly didn’t go because writing about my work scares me! Honestly I stood by the front door debating it. I had to submit a draft artist statement in advance - so I sent the press release that journalist Dominic Walsh wrote. It turned out that the teacher wanted my own version eck!
To help Laura Robertson set us lots of 5 minute exercises and they were fun, a riot of imaginative writing and nobody to point out the errors in structure, spelling and grammar. I was free to write erotica, longings from the heart, critique a photo, it was so creative and suited me to play with words as I play with images.
Well the big news was that I actually wrote an artist statement all by myself and then decided to read it out loud. I’m not ready to share it yet with you, but I had expected to freeze rather than write. I think Laura tricked me by making it risk free to be honest.
In the afternoon we had more fundraising training. All art is made for free. If you need to pay the mortgage and put food on the table, pay for the exhibition or book you have to hold the digital equivalent of a jumble sale. So Monika Neall - the super woman of bid writing came to drill us. She is an Impact Consultant and was very keen to tell us which pitfalls to avoid. If I do my book of Trans Portraits how can I measure the change the book will create? If I don’t do the book, what does the world loose? Really big questions and a new way to start thinking about my bid.
We would loose a document of trans people in Britain
If 48% of trans people commit suicide we need a record of those who live and build meaningful lives as nurses, doctors, accountants, the stay at home Dad, the man who runs a charity for the homeless, the scientist who is saving lives, the war veteran.
Yet by 5pm I was worried. You see I cannot think of a way, as yet, to be paid to work on this project. So it’s back to squeezing it into my spare time or pushing it to the back of the queue so I can focus on earning the minimum wage. Despite Redeye- The Photography Network offering first rate training, I am still searching for solutions.
If you can help do get in touch!
We need your support to produce a photography book of transgender people.
Last summer the highly successful photographic art exhibition, “YOU BROUGHT YOUR OWN LIGHT” shone some much needed visibility onto transgender people depicting twelve trans women and their stories in Manchester Library for a whole nine weeks. It is the only documentation of the trans community of its kind and was sponsored by Sparkle- The National Transgender Charity.
I want to develop this project and continue to promote acceptance. There is so much hate for trans gender people today that I passionately want to challenge it by photographing at least 20 more trans people for a photography book I am working on. The money you raise allows me to travel, shoot and edit so that I can focus on this valuable book and pull the first edition together. All of the money donated will be used efficiently and with your help I can break stereotypes and explore more truthful representations of diversity.
Your support means the world to me, I know I’m a talented artist who has hung in The Getty Gallery London and published in America but without financial backing projects like this do not happen. Trans people have a suicide rate of about 48%, life before and after transition is unjust. One of these trans women said,
“Consider that it is a beautiful body of work that you have created. You’ve achieved so much and you should be proud. The portraits will continue to inspire people, and you will continue to have a positive impact on vulnerable people’s lives.”
With your support I can change the world; one photo at a time.
GOFUNDME.COMClick here to support You Brought Your Own Light organised by Allie CreweLast summer the photographic art exhibition, “You Brought Your Own Light” shone a much needed visibility onto transgender people depicting twelve trans women and their stories in Manchester Library for nine weeks. There is so much hate for trans gender people at the moment that I passionately wan…