Aquarius (2021)


So, this is what I learned during my hardly exhaustive research into the ‘age of Aquarius’ in preparation for this week’s Kick-About; that in addition to all the immediate water-based imagery that associates with it, some scholars of all things astrological identify electricity as one of the keenest indications of the Aquarian age.

Originally I had film in mind as my response to the prompt, something rather doomy and cynical juxtaposing the optimism given to the age of Aquarius with the lived reality of recent events and the rise of populism in politics… but, while good and worthwhile possibly, it was also going nowhere visually! Instead, I wondered how I might bring the Aquarian motifs of electricity and water together in a suitably cosmic way – without blowing myself up in the process!

So it was I returned to the site of the scrying mirror, that small body of water so fascinating to me in its blackness (but which also makes it quite smelly!), and cracked out a few techniques familiar to me from previous photographic adventures in other dark places. It is certainly the dawning of something going on here…



Return To The Scrying Mirror (2021)


In June 2020, on a trip into the woods, we came across a still, stagnant body of water, blackly sinister under the canopy of trees. We returned to the woods last week, and the strangely alluring surface of this scrying mirror didn’t disappoint, doing wonderfully witchy things to the still bare branches of the trees surrounding it. Arthur Rackham is somewhere at work in the resulting photographs, likewise the Blair Witch, and every haunted forest from Disney films and storybooks the world over, and I’m now minded to return to Oxney Bottom, where the trees conspired similarly in their ancient, watchful way.



The Scrying Mirror (2020)


Back in late April, we took a walk into the local woods to see the bluebells and green frills of young Spring foliage, but I was very much more drawn to the sullen pond sitting in shadow below the eaves of the trees. The soupiness of this small body of water shouldn’t have been in any inspiring, and yet it seemed to slow and melt and warp the world reflected in it. The few photographs I took of these reflections possessed qualities that excited me; here was the oiliness and the grubbied silk, and the near-metallic sheen produced by the grey bloom of the water.



The Orpheus portal prompt for the Kick-About #4 sent me hurrying back to the sluggish pond in one of those rare moments of knowing exactly how I wanted to respond. The notably dry Spring meant the pond was rather smaller than before – and the water even blacker and more viscous. The atmosphere was the same – mysterious, solemn, and silent. The lone figure who haunts the resulting images was just the thing to push the idea a little further. Friend or foe? Past or future? Living or dead? I don’t know. This scrying mirror is keeping its secrets.