Hanabi (2021)

The fun thing about participating in The Kick-About is the way it produces these intense bouts of creative exploration, sending me off in different directions every two weeks and often exerting a tight grip on my imagination. What’s really nice about The Kick-About is the way these moments are fleeting, and when I’m finally done with something, I’m done.

With regards to the specific prompt for the KA#40 – exquisite illustrations for Japanese firework catalogues – I was as much drawn to the elegance of the illustrations’ portrait format, as to the visual pleasures of the fireworks themselves, which gave rise to this final turn of the wheel. These latest panels, which take their name from the Japanese word for firework (or fire flower), derive from the sleek letter-box format of the short film Whizz Bang Ooh Aah, which in turn derived from a series of photographs with soap bubbles as their original subject. They make me want to see them printed very large in a hushed and darkened room, lit by soft white light.

Short Film: Whizz Bang Ooh Aah (2021)

Thanks to The Kick-About No.40, I went shooting off on another short-lived, if intense, trajectory inspired by these beautiful and poetic illustrations of fireworks. I’ve been sharing images resulting from my photography of soap bubbles, which was the safest way I could think of – in a short time – to work with colourful displays as fleeting as fireworks. I really enjoyed some of imagery, finding in it some of the explosive qualities we associated with pyrotechnics. What these experiments couldn’t express was the kineticism and noise of a good firework display, so I was further tempted to have a bash at using the photographs to produce some moving-image. Whizz Bang Ooh Aah is the result, my intention being to get close to that moment at the end of a big organised show when the sights and sounds become almost over-whelming, before the abrupt outbreak of darkness, silence – and applause!