Monday, 28 May 2012

Nan's house

Here are some photos I took recently, trying to tell a story about my nan.

Recently my nan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. So far, it mostly affects her short-term memory: she can't remember if she's eaten, or what the last sentence she just read was about. Her longer term memory is largely intact. She knows she's been diagnosed, still remembers who everyone is, and what her past is. 

As she was always quite a reserved woman, and as I grew up in a different country from her, I've been keen to hear more about what kind of life she's had and what she's seen in her time. She's travelled a lot and like most people her age lived through tough times.

But the stories are harder to get to than I first realised: she forgets what she's talking about mid-sentence, trails off, gets confused and lost. Trying to talk about the past seems quite uncomfortable for her. In effect, it feels like these memories are trapped inside her.

The memory held in her muscles however is still strong. Her motor skills are very much intact, in fact she powers through her routine of daily household chores with enormous strength.

Her house is immaculately ordered, everything has its place. If you are foolish enough to leave a half-drunk cup of tea lying around, it'll be washed, dried and put away in a snap.

This is my documentation of a place rife with memories, and my attempts to trace and decode the map of knick-knacks and souvenirs that make up the story of a life lived.

To be honest the pictures came out very grainy, and though they sort of add to the idea of haziness and vagueness I think I might try to re-shoot some of these next time I go to visit her. 

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Magnum Professional Practice

Hello! Little update to let folks know what I've been up to.

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to attend a Magnum Professional Practice event in London, thanks to a bursary from the lovely folk at IdeasTap (seriously, I love them). It was an amazing couple of days, where I got to meet some interesting people and got to hear from the pros about different aspects the photo industry, including advertising, NGOs, galleries and more. Lots of information to take in! All that intensive talk about photography from the speakers and also with other photographers at the event was so motivating, and made me really want to get stuck into a new project.

The final speaker was Magnum photographer Olivia Arthur, who is genuinely inspiring! I love her photography and the way she works. Publishing her own work, making affordable little newsprint publications with other photographers (that remind me of zines and that DIY feel), and breaking ridiculous clichés like "Photographers Can't Write".

Feeling re-energised, ready to do more!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Foxtrot Lightning Tumbles

Hello there! just a quick post to let people know that you can now also follow this blog on TUMBLR. I'm not abandoning this blog, the plan is to (mostly) be posting the same stuff in both blogs, but it seems a lot of people are looking at and sharing images on there too so I thought i'd give it a go.

if you like to tumble check it owwwt heeere: