A second set of photographs produced for The Kick-About No.67, inspired by the lustrous upcycled installations of El Anatsui, and fabricated from the metallicised wraps around supermarket toffees.
I can’t date this photograph exactly, though it was taken at some point in the early 2000s, but I can tell you where I was when I took it: somewhere along the banks of the River Slea in Lincolnshire on a winter’s morning. Looking like one of those heraldic banners, I was obviously drawn to this surviving crisp of grass and snapped it using my old 35mm camera.
Whenever I pop over to visit my parents, I’m heartened by the small bowl of toffee eclairs on the table in the hall. On my way back out the door, I always pocket a couple to sustain me on my journey home. The toffees come wrapped in these blue and gold twists of metallicised cellophane, many of which have found their way into the washing machine. Once washed, these wrappers take on a very pleasing patina, exfoliated of much of their original gaudiness and turned instead into these rather more translucent, opalescent swatches. I wondered if I could assemble a few of the wrappers together to produce a very small scale homage to El Anatsui’s extraordinary tapestries-come-sculptures – our prompt for The Kick-About No.67.
While not convinced I managed that exactly, I found myself instead thinking about geological strata and seams of gold, about crystalline caves and fantastical canyons.
These photographs of the glorious foliage of a Staghorn sumac tree were taken in the garden belonging to my late grandmother at some point in the mid-2000s – can’t remember when exactly, though I remember actually taking the pictures themselves; walking down the flight of enclosed concrete steps that led down from Grandma’s first floor flat and out into the garden at the back, where this tree opened out from a small central bed like a festive umbrella.
A concluding set of photographs produced for our recent Vesuvius-inspired Kick-About – a crowd of ash-entombed individuals just passing the time.
The prompt for The Kick-About No.66 was Turner’s 1817 painting of Mount Vesuvius in spectacular eruption… which inspired this response from me; a casual gathering of ash-encased bystanders left pondering the apocalypse.
A showing here of one of the series of photographs taken at Number 351 back in the summer of 2016. At this point of my all-nighter in this old abandoned house I was sleep-deprived, but happy, searching its rooms for obedient and showy apparitions.
A few points of reference going on in these images produced for The Kick-About No.66, as inspired by Turner’s 1817 painting, Mount Vesuvius In Eruption: of course, those ash-encased bodies of Pompeii’s unlucky inhabitants, entombed where they embraced by the volcano’s pyroclastic flow, but also memories of watching the news in the aftermath of 9/11, people walking through the city streets, bewildered, made ghostly by their lamina of ash.
I sourced some of those little people architects deploy to bring their scale models to life, coated them with a few blasts of hairspray, then rolled them in wood ash from the stove. I was particularly taken by the figures’ humdrum poses and, in some strange way, find the resulting photographs comforting. It’s as if those poor Pompeiians got up off the floor one day and resumed their lives, chatting, flirting, popping down the shops…
Some Halloween-inspired fun and games – the photoshoot that inspired this ‘picture book’. Sweet dreams.