Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Ponder Rosa

It's been an exiting couple of weeks, with good news on 2 fronts.
The first was being invited to pose for Neeta Madahars ongoing 'Flora' series, which is partly on display at theBradford Media Museum - but more about that in a later blog.

In the more immediate future, tomorrow in fact, I have the next opening at Diemar/Noble Photography to contend with.
What is it, you hopefully ask? It is 'Crazy God' by the inimitable Yvonne De Rosa. I know this work very well, as I wrote the text for the book. However, working with the prints and promoting it to the press has allowed me fall in love with it all over again - which has led me to consider why I was so taken with the project from the very beginning...

It isn't just that the work is beautiful. Yvonne has managed to capture something deeply personal to me. My thoughts about the work have been on my mind and I have had my eureka moment in realising why I connect to her images so profoundly: since the age of 16 I have been fascinated by architecture. Going on holidays with the family I would take my first camera and snap away. The great thing about film is that no-one sees your pictures before you do and there are always surprises. Anyway, I digress. Something which my family did not understand at the time was why I would invariably come home with films full of pictures of buildings and no people. What I was trying to capture was the 'feeling' and the emotions I myself had when I was near or inside those buildings, (which at that young age were quite exotic to me).

The presence that is felt within a building - or even just through looking at a building - can be so immense it is almost audible. Thanks to my mum & dad, we always visited interesting places; churches, museums and stately homes, both at home and abroad. The power of architecture is well documented, but the way in which the building resonates the people who have been inside it, is not. By that, I mean it may just be the wear and tear, objects or how clean, tidy or messy it is. What I love about old churches in particular is the stone floors and steps worn smooth by a million footprints. The feeling or treading where so may have trodden before feels like stepping into history. It somehow connects you to those you have never seen or will ever meet, but it's there, you can feel it.

Yvonne's photographs do exactly that. They give you the 'feeling' of being there and, with it, the feelings of those who were once inside that building. The building is not named, nor should it need to be. Just like all the anonymous structures I photographed when I was younger - the emotional urge to capture - and in doing so reexperience - the phenomenon of being there and feeling something from the very bricks and mortar is precisely why her work affected me so much. Yvonne has transported me to that asylum and tangibly given me her own emotional and visceral response in the process.

Crazy God Opens Wed 20th Jan @ Diemar/Noble, Photography, 18:30-20:00

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