Journal - 2020
I recently discovered this powerful reworking of Leonard Cohen’s song "Democracy", done by Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman. It’s from a few years ago, but feels more relevant than ever. I also love the animation in the video.
(12th November 2020)
On the day the clocks went back I decided to get up early and walk up to the top of Sedgley Beacon to watch the sun rise. When I set out there was just a faint hint of light in the east, I walked through the suburban streets, greeted by the occasional motion sensitive security light flashing on as I passed. Then as I got into the fields I started to hear the first birdsong. There were blackbirds then the unmistakable caw of a crow, and then far off the hoot of an owl, calling its last call before the dawn.
Climbing up onto the beacon I can hear the wind in the trees, and starting to feel its chill I put my scarf back on and zip my top right up. It is cold and my hands are chilled, I hadn’t thought to bring gloves, and it is making it a little harder to hold the camera steady.
The sun rises but is hidden behind a bank of watery grey cloud. Just as I begin to give up hope of a good photograph the sun comes out and then a few minutes later another bank of cloud starts to blow across. Everything lights up golden and the Birmingham skyline is silhouetted on the distant horizon.
I am starting to feel really cold so I put the camera back in my bag and head back home for a cooked breakfast and mug of hot coffee.
(25th October 2020)
Thoughts on exhibiting
I have had pictures in two shows recently, a solo exhibition at the Asylum Gallery in Wolverhampton, and also as part of a group show at the Dudley Canal Trust.
It is hard work preparing for an exhibition. Selecting, printing and framing pictures, and everything else that goes with an exhibition can be time consuming. Doing it on your own for a solo exhibition can be particularly nerve wracking. I worry about whether I will be able to get everything together in time, and then whether people will come, and when they do, how they will react.
Putting the pictures up for my Asylum exhibition was a long evening’s work on one of the hottest days of the year, but once they were up I started to see them in a new light. Seeing them as a series of prints in frames, together on a wall, is a very different experience to looking at them on a computer screen.
The thing that means the most is talking to people looking at the pictures. On one level you take pictures to please yourself, but the work isn’t really complete until it is seen by an audience. It is the telling of a story, or the communication of a vision, that is what art is really about.
It is wonderful when people enjoy the work, get what you are saying, and respond positively. However what I find most fascinating is when someone sees something in your work that you never saw yourself. The comment that took me most by surprise was when someone said that a distorted image of one of my one of my “Flight of the Gods” pictures looked like an ultrasound scan of a baby. That was something I would never have thought of in a million years.
That’s why I love exhibiting my work.
(12th September 2020)
Hania Rani - Glass
I have recently discovered Hania Rani, such a talented musician and composer of beautiful music. My favourite piece at the moment is "Glass" from the album "Esja" also check out the video for "F Major".
(3rd May 2020)