Nine Months and Other Thoughts

The project has twisted and turned through the journey. The nine months was not as I expected, and the end result is better than I dared hope.

We began the third year with an eye to a landscape based project. That quickly unfolded beneath me as my ideas lacked depth, and I lacked belief in it’s intrinsic strength. I quickly changed tack and it was not without a little trepidation that I trashed a summers thinking and set out on a new direction.

Having come up with the basic idea, it took a while to refine and define the project’s direction. Once settled the photography was experimental, the image making ephemeral and the learning curve steep.

It is easy to forget just how many risks I took. I had no idea that it was even possible. Having worked out theoretically how to do it, I went up a false road of paddling pool and water. That failed experiment pushed me towards a more fashion type and dispense with the “liquid” idea. That road was shot down in flames, and I had to completely rethink the whole project.

That rethink led to the use of milk, food colouring and a bath. Just reading that statement is to focus in on the eccentric idea. The key idea of removing the mask, tearing it away n strips… that key idea just popped into my head. The great god of creativity handed me that gem.

Laura, and her willingness to experiment was absolutely central to getting this project working. “Let me paint you in liquid latex, then let me paint you in acrylic, get in a bath of milk and rip it all off” is not something you ask someone to do lightly.

At the start the process took three hours. At the end I could get the job done in half that time.

I was very tempted to redo some of the early images. I resisted that idea, as in the end those early images had a power, a rawness and naievity of their own. The latter images are slicker and more polished. They are also a little to “samey” to my eye, but they are what they are.

The images on the wall, have a predominantly pink and red hue. That was never deliberate, or conscious. It just seems to have occurred. No idea why. It might be just because I liked the red acrylic…