Photography for me is a way of relaxing and connecting with the natural world. For many years I have found great pleasure in exploring the detail to be found in both flora and fauna. However, I had reached a point where I wanted to develop
my ideas further and to find a personal style.
Through attending a number of Doug Chinnery and Valda Bailey’s workshops and working online with Valda, I began to experiment with different in-camera and post-processing techniques. This has not meant throwing out the old to make way for the new. At times, I have enjoyed making use of some existing images and combining them with the new. It has opened my mind to more possibilities and to the excitement of taking risks.
Creating a set of images was challenging. For the first time, I have brought my image making and writing together and found it to be very rewarding.
Sharing my work is a new experience and I thank Doug and Valda for taking me into the unknown. Thank you for looking at my images.
From the Outside
These images are gateways to meditation. Each one represents a particular period in my life or an aspect of it.
From early childhood I always felt slightly detached from the events and emotions of living – an observer who looked in on life from the outside. This feeling has never left me. Over the last few years, after much reflection, I have realised that standing back, being quiet and pondering an event or situation is simply my way of being. It is who I am.
For a long while my life was extremely busy bringing up three children and developing an unplanned career. When an illness called a halt to this hectic existence, I breathed an unexpected sigh of relief. It took a considerable length of time to adjust, but time was now available. Being at home alone in the house allowed me space, quietness and solitude to retreat from the world.
One rainy day I was stood at the kitchen window looking out at the garden. The sun broke through the clouds and the raindrops on the glass sparkled like jewels. Through these raindrops a small snail made its way slowly from one side of the window to the other. It was a beautiful sight and I wanted to express the joy and wonder I felt so wrote this little poem.
Because I had time
I watched you snake an unplanned route
Through pictures hung in raindrops
And I knew I was blessed.
I was the observer – on the outside looking in. It felt good.
When it was suggested that I should use a vase and water to create some images I had no idea where it would take me. The short quotation,
Do not show me what it is, show me what else it is.
(attributed to the photographer Minor White)
opened the door that I had been knocking on for some time. Ideas that I had been unable to bring together in an appealing and appropriate way began to take shape and form. Images, poems and the story of my life could provide an opportunity for reflection.
Each image contains a vase. The vase is a metaphor for my life, half full of water or half empty depending on my viewpoint or frame of mind at the time of viewing. My life is the flower in the picture, but always outside the vase. This is not an exclusion, for I am choosing to look in from the outside. It is where I want to be. The odd number of images is deliberate. My obsession with order and perfection is challenged. Life is not tidy, nor is it orderly, and so the empty space has a part to play in this work.