Brett’s #1 (2023)

One of the things guarding against the prettification of my home town is the presence of Brett’s aggregate factory slap-bang in the harbour. With Charles Sheeler’s flattened abstractions in my sights – this week’s Kick-About prompt – and likewise his use of colour, I went out to photograph the factory buildings, with the idea of collaging them, so moving quickly beyond this first act of recording them.

Whitstable is celebrated for its skyscapes. and on this day, the clouds were so much lace and the light was pin-prick clean. Had my camera been old school, I’d have anyway plumped for a polarising filter by which to pull more drama and detail from the clouds; in the instance of these images, I polarised my images in post and licked my lips as the skies offered up all this tonal range and texture. The dystopian vibes of these photographs diverge at once from Sheeler’s calming expressions of modernity; my photographs remind me of sets from science-fiction movies; they’re all a bit Metropolis and I don’t mind saying I’m very happy about that. I walk past this factory all the time; it’s never felt this cinematic before.

Throwback Friday #150 Meadow Misc. (2015)

I’ve spent a good deal of time getting lost in fields, as for me, there is nothing more transportive than a wall-to-wall vista of meadow grass as its colours and textures are transformed by the breeze and by the light. I can’t recall where this field is or what I was doing there back in 2015, but I would have been drawn to the grid lines of the fence against that strip of rapeseed and the cross-hatching of the grass in the foreground.

Throwback Friday #149 Water Lilies (2015)

I can’t recall exactly where this photograph was taken, except it was one of those lovely large houses with lovely large gardens somewhere in Kent, and it was a sunny day in 2015 and we were just mooching about enjoying the view. The breeze was doing nice things to the surface of the water, with the flowers of the water lilies looking very tastefully scattered. Click!

The Kick-About / A Third Year Later

Blimey! Now where did that year go?

This moment in my blogging year does remind me a bit of when I used to put all my beloved He-Man figures on display, so I could just sit back with a purring of pleasure, satisfied by the simple act of amassing stuff: or when VHS was a thing, running my fingertip across all the lurid spines of my very many horror videos, finding comfort in the accruing and arranging of like-minded things. Mostly, however, I experience a funny sort of relief because even though this past year of Kick-Abouts has been busy with everything else, this latest miscellany suggests I am bloody-minded enough to hold on to all this thinking, doing and making even when circumstances are far from conducive. When your hands are full, you have to be careful what you put down. Looking back, all these little undertakings feel like spells cast for warding off world events and other slumps, like bobbing up again after intrusive thoughts of sinking and staying sunk.

I owe much of my buoyancy to the other Kick-Abouters, for The Kick-About is a lot like lighting a candle and putting it in my window, and then looking out and seeing all these other candles appearing one-by-one – and oh! the comfort and encouragement that brings!

Read the PDF here

Read the PDF here

Read the PDF here

Hermione Gray & The Murdered Magician