Monday, 28 February 2011

DARK KNIGHT by Tania Diez of the Westminster College Contemporary Portraiture Group

DARK NIGHT by Tania Diez 

Paul Rider teaches an adult education group at Westminster College and asked me if I would come along and talk to the group about this project. Jane and I went along and I spoke for about 45 minutes and then answered questions. After that, Tania Diez, assisted by the other members of the group, photographed me and later I received this great image.

I cannot remember the names of the other people in the group but I really enjoyed the session and it was nice to hear them talk about what they were each hoping to achieve from the shoot.

UNTITLED by Lisa Wormsley

UNTITLED by Lisa Wormsley

Lisa had a photograph published in "Professional Photographer" magazine and so I looked up her website and I liked the look of her edgy, vibrant studies and so I contacted her by email. Her response says a lot about her approach to photography and to life. She wrote "Wow! I'm very flattered. I would love to photograph you..if you can come to Brighton." She added that she loved the fact that I had set the project rather than being the project of the photographer and she would love to be part of it. At the same time, she recommended that I approach Antony Crossfield, not realising that I had in fact already done so a while previously.

I sent her a link to Jane's website and she loved Jane's work and wondered how, if at all, I had influenced the work. She commented that "It's a Wonderful Life" had just popped into her head. Where that came from, I don't know although it is one of my favourite films. 

 

We met at her flat in Brighton on 2nd June 2010 and talked at some depth about Parkinson's Disease, relationships, art, photography and films. She had prepared some very searching questions to ask me. One thing that came up was how people had reacted and I told her that my kids had asked Jane "when can we start joking about it?" and the fact that we all used the word "Spaz" sparingly but to good effect when we needed it. Again I explained to her that I was basically willing to do anything in front of the camera. However, when she wrote to me subsequently with her ideas she suggested that I arrive quite late so that we had some light and then take pictures after dark too. She wanted me to paint the word "SPAZ"in black paint on her sitting room wall and then, amongst other things, to get drunk and paint a moustache on me and sleep overnight so that she could photograph me in a drunken haze both at night and in the morning. As she said "well, you said you'd do anything!"

Well, as it turned out, I did paint the wall but we didn't get drunk and I didn't stay. However, after painting Spaz on her wall, we wandered down to the beach and did some more nude and clothed shots there and on the stairs on the way back, all of which were brilliant. It was a great evening and this image is extremely powerful and was her choice which I was happy to accept.

http://indigoburns.tumblr.com/

EVERYDAY IS A HOLIDAY by Miss Aniela (Natalie Dybisz)


EVERY DAY IS A HOLIDAY by Natalie Dybisz


I came across Natalie's wonderful work on Flickr where she presents herself under the name of Miss Aniela. She produces such exciting romantic pictures a lot of which are gravity defying self portraits. There is colour, sensuality, wit and verve in her pictures. No wonder I wanted to work with her.

We met in the bar of The Bridge cafe in Shoreditch and I have to say that I was very surprised when I met her as she is very different to her alter ego, Miss Aniela, in that she is petite, well turned out and slightly bashful but clearly has a strong intelligence and she thinks very deeply about her work but doesn't always take it too seriously. I do feel that her self portraits are a means of presenting a side of her character that normally remains hidden. She asked me what attracted me particularly to her work and I explained that it was honest and expressive about her personally and it struck a chord because I want to express myself too and I am not afraid to do so.

 We talked about ideas and the general feeling between us was that we would find an abandoned building and go from there. Her initial ideas were to create images that were happy and celebratory, joyful but not cheesy. She wondered whether a derelict building had a place in this scheme. I said that I felt that, as my condition was continuing to worsen and my consultant had said that in 5 year's time "the cracks would begin to show", the dereliction would represent the ruinous nature of my previous work as a lawyer and the gradual worsening of my condition.

Natalie found a great location in the abandioned hospitala in Hackney and I told her of my idea of a variation on her clone photographs. I thought of me as an a entertainer in a tuxedo and my grandfather's top hat leading a naked child (also me) by the hand. We met at her flat aand then went on to the hospital. It was a bit eerie but the great thing about this day was that we had the permission of the security guard to be there so we weren't going to be disturbed. We started off in the operating theatre where, amazingly, the lights were still working.

We then found the playroom and we tried the clone picture. It was Natalie's idea to keep in the light and again her idea to reduce the size of the naked me to a child like size. The photograph went well beyond my wildest expectations and I loved what she had done. 
Natalie Dybisz aka Miss Aniela




MY NAME IS.........by Alistair Guy

MY NAME IS.......by Alistair Guy
My name is Antonio Banderas known to many as Zorro, Defender of the People, Protector of Freedom. Yes, if you have seen my infantile films on You Tube, you will know exactly who I am. Alistair wanted me  to be caught on camera play acting and this is exactly what he has done and wonderfully well. I  have to say that  I don't dress up in the full kit when I do my broadcasts - as I am in shadow, I only have to wear hat, mask and false moustache.

I saw Alistair's work featured online in Dazed & Confused and then l looked up his website and his portraits looked like fun so I wrote to him and he said yes! We met for a rushed coffee in Old Street but I was already late for a meeting with Natalie so we didn't have much time to chat but I saw enough of him to realise that he is a bundle of positive energy. He just never stops. He is also a great photographer and with this verve of his, he is bound to be successful. Well, he already is.

He wanted to come down to Ravenswood to do the shots and asked to see other photos which had been taken there. I sent a selection and he said he wanted to do something a bit more fun and so, when I told him about Zorro, he jumped at it.

We tried various shots and poses in different locations around the house but he did like this chair in what we called the playroom, which is appropriate. I think he captured the whole daft idea of an amateur artiste at work very well. And it is a great photograph to boot.

http://alistairguy.com

REFRACTION by Eleonora D'Ambrosio

REFRACTION by Eleonora D'Ambrosio

I met Eleonora when she assisted Harry Borden on his shoot. We met on the same day as the shoot with Justyna Neyring. It was a beautiful afternoon in Brighton and we walked down to the promenade alongside the beach to the beach huts. She really liked the pattern formed by the roofs and there is an interesting geometry to the image with the angles of the mirror, the beach huts and the reflections behind me. Great!

What I have really enjoyed about this project are the shoots themselves - the resultant image is like an extra bonus. Eleonora and I talked and talked about the pictures she was taking and her family in Italy and her thoughts about working with Harry Borden whom she liked a lot. That would have been enough for me but then a few weeks later, I receive a great photograph too. A work of art and a memento of the day - what could be better?

www.eleonoradambrosio.com

Eleonora D"Ambrosio

SOUVENIR by Justyna Neryng

SOUVENIR by Justyna Neryng
Justyna's portfolio is so full of energy and ideas that I felt absolutely compelled to work with her. She lives in a lovely flat in Hove where she has her home studio and, on 2nd June 2010, that is where I met her for the first time. She is a great admirer of the work of Bill Henson and wanted to try something on similar lines with me that is, intense and dark.

She asked me first to rub mud all over my face and and my T shirt and we tried some different poses and then we tried some portraits. I cleaned myself up and suggested that I combed my wet hair back for these. She said she wanted it to look as if I was crying and put some vaseline on my cheek. I said that, although I had had some training as an actor, I had never been able to make myself cry. However, as she set up the camera, I felt tears coming into my eyes. I wasn't forcing myself to cry nor was I thinking of anything sad but it was really a physical thing and maybe I was so much in the moment that it was inevitable that tears would flow as indeed they did. 

We were both exhilarated and this image is at the top of my list of favourites. It is so powerful. The emotion is real and the depth of colour and the directness of the gaze all serve to produce a magnificent image.

Justyna is not afraid to dig deep and to bare all both physically and emotionally and yet she has a delicate side to her that belies this boldness.

WEBSITE: http://justynaneryng.co.uk/

Sunday, 27 February 2011

CRACKS by Barry Lategan



The catchphrase "Hello, Barry Lategan here" became a familiar refrain whenever he called me on the telephone. I am sure that Barry won't mind me saying that he is one of the old school but he is no less talented and successful a photographer as a consequence. He wears a distinctive hat when he wanders out of his full but neat flat in London. His home is like a treasure trove and I was very honoured to be invited to have a look at some of his portfolios which included some classic photographs of Twiggy.

He welcomed me into his flat and immediately told me that he had seen the location for the shooting that day. Eventually, we wandered downstairs but, as we stepped outside the front door, he asked me to climb into a hedge as he suddenly viewed it as an essential backdrop. It didn't quite work and so we carried on to the end of the road and found the wall of cracks which he thought were so intriguing.

At first, I wasn't sure about this shot of me because the others looked so much more intense and therefore perhaps more interesting but then I thought it would be unusual to have a smile in the show. I love this shot - it has really grown on me.

I am also really honoured to say that I have been photographed by the great Barry Lategan.

Barry Lategan

INVISIBLE by Harry Borden

INVISIBLE by Harry Borden
Harry was recommended by loads of photographers and so I was thrilled when he agreed to photograph me.He is a great artist with a deserved reputation. He explained that he had a studio in the West Country but that he came to town quite a lot and so it was that we met in London. I told him that I would be prepared to do anything in front of the camera but, when it came to it, I proved myself wrong. He suggested that we drive around London to look for a location and perhaps do some nude shots. I said that I had no problem with nudity but in broad daylight in London, maybe not.

We ended up on the Serpentine and hired a boat in which the two of us plus his assistant, Eleonora, set  off into the water. Harry hardly says a word in emails but when I met him, he couldn't stop talking and I knew almost his whole life story after about half an hour. He chatted and clicked away and then suggested that he got out of the boat and I rowed it on my own. However, I was not confident of rowing on my own so I pulled out of that as well.  So much for my boast that I would do anything in front of a camera.

We got away with not paying the full cost of Three in a Boat which prompted him to tell me a story about himself and his visits to service stations and train journeys............

I love this picture which was the only one he sent to me but you can see why he is so much in demand.
Harry
http://www.harryborden.com/

http://harryborden.blogspot.com/

HOLLAND PARK by Silvia Brizi

HOLLAND PARK by Silvia Brizi


Silvia was one of the last, if not the last Gumtree photographer. We met for a chat in Notting Hill and we got on well and agreed to meet up soon for a shoot. Subsequently, we sent each other links to our respective Flickr pages and I particularly liked her "Jump" photograph and suggested to her that we try something similar so long as it didn't look like a 58 year old man with one foot in the air. 

         
We met in Holland Park and spent a very pleasant few hours strolling around trying different locations. We found a large fallen tree trunk which I jumped off and wondered when I landed if I had done some permanent damage - luckily not. The eventual pictures of my jump did not really work but there were some excellent shots from which I chose my favourite. I look a bit serious but it really was a fun day.
Silvia Brizi






SOMETIMES by Chris Moore

SOMETIMES by Chris Moore
This shot was not taken by Chris Moore. Well, it was but not the one I thought I had thought I was contacting when I first wrote to him. Jane used to do hair and make up and worked with Chris Moore, the great fashion photographer, in the 1970s and 1980s. I remembered this when I attended an award ceremony at The London College of Fashion in early 2009 where he was presenting the prizes. Unfortunately, I did not have time to introduce myself then and so I wrote to him a few days later but in fact it wasn't him. Chris politely pointed out the mistake but said that he would in fact like to be part of the project anyway.

We met at a studio in Parsons Green on a Sunday in March 2010 and he took some portraits of which this one. I chose this image because I love body shapes and I like the shapes and curves of my shoulders and arms and also the fact that it has captured my slightly bent posture which is caused by Parkinson's but which has a feminine look to it.

So, the wrong Chris Moore but the right result. If it wasn't for my mistake, this photograph would never have been taken which would have been a great shame.
Chris Moore


http://www.chrismoorephoto.co.uk/

LUCKY TIM by Tom Barnes

LUCKY TIM by Tom Barnes

Tom is a one-man mobile photographic studio. He came along to the shoot on Rodborough Common near our house in Milford armed with everything including lights and remote control shutters etc. He is a lover of gadgets.

He is also a brilliant photographer and I loved the highly lit style of the unusual portrait photographs on his website. He gets very close to his subjects and then lights them up so you can really see what they are about.

He was very interested in how my illness had impacted on my life and we talked about all that in some depth whilst we tried various different poses on the common. I think he has in mind to photograph me every six months.

It is interesting that some photographers want to record my disintegration. It doesn't bother me at all and I think I might want to do the same if I was in their position. I think it has less to do with recording mortality but more about recording the fight with the illness at that particular stage or moment. I remember vividly my mother when she was suffering from dementia towards the end of her life. She sat silently at her dressing table and painstakingly put on her make up. She was so ill but her determination to keep doing what she had always done was so moving that I wished I could have recorded that moment.
http://www.tombarnesphoto.com/

ME by Tim Andrews

ME by Tim Andrews


When I went down to the woods that day with Liz Orton in March 2010, she suggested that I did a self portrait and very kindly allowed me to use her camera. We had already taken some shots in the wood with me wearing a suit and carrying balloons but then went on to some nude shoots. It was a bit dodgy because it was mid morning and there were some dog walkers about.  I have absolutely no problem with nudity but  I do not like to offend anyone and, if they are planning a leisurely walk with their dog, they are not necessarily expecting to come across a naked man.

But there is something very liberating about being nude outside and in public.  I suppose that makes me an exhibitionist but I don't care what anyone calls it -  I love it. So, curling up on a leafy forest floor completely naked is really a very nice feeling. 

Apart from all that, it was also quite a thrill taking a self portrait with a decent camera and I don't think it came out too badly. I like the fact that although my skin is quite pale in contrast to the leaves, they both have the same tone. It is a very romantic picture in a fairy tale sense.

DREAMING OF GLORY by Steve Jones

DREAMING OF GLORY by Steve Jones
Following my session with Rankin, I subscribed online to Dazed & Confused magazine and, one day, I saw an article on Steve Jones and his Pinhole Shoe project and thought I would contact him in the hope that he might be interested in my project. I did and he was.

We met in London on 25th March 2010 and we got on really well. We wandered around a few mile radius of Charing Cross chatting about Football and Films - how cool is that? And all the while he photographed me. He loved the story of me helping myself to sleep by going through the Spurs' 1961 Double Team (see Rob White). He took this photograph just after I told the story and he told me to close my eyes. I did so and heard people around me including these four girls but obviously I couldn't see them or anyone else and they didn't heed me. I love the fact that, in this image, I am standing quite close to the girls and we are all subjects in the same picture but otherwise we are not connecting.

Also, I love the fact that it is yet another photograph of me in London, the city that I love.

http://bismarckandherring.com/

PEACE by Jo Metson-Scott

PEACE by Jo Metson Scott

I picked up a Waitrose magazine in my dentist's waiting room in on 22nd May 2009 and I saw Jo's portrait of Emma Dibben and I thought it was really good. So I asked my dentist if I could nick the magazine and he gave me permission in return for me paying him 75 quid to tell me that my teeth were fine. Anyway, enough of that. I came home and looked up her excellent work on her website and then wrote to Jo that day and she replied saying that she would love to be part of the project.

We met a few days later and she said that she did not want to look at the photographs taken thus far but, within a few seconds, her curiosity got the better of her and she asked to look. We had a really nice chat and she said that she would write with the names of other photographers whom she thought were good and would be interested in the project including Linda Brownlee and Thom Atkinson.

But, it was almost ten months later that she came down to Ravenswood and took some photographs including the one below which I love. It shows me looking out of the kitchen window into the lovely, lovely garden. Often Jane and I would stand and lookout into the garden when having heavy thoughts or conversations. That garden has received an emotional mix of gazes from the two of us  - Jane more than me - over the 22 and a bit years that we were there. However, Jo preferred the photograph above and, when she was asked to include her photograph of me in an exhibition, this was the one she had printed - it was taken in our dining room at Ravenswood. My father's wooden motorbike helmet that he wore in the TT races on the Isle of Man is on the desk behind me. The book I created for Jane on our 30th wedding anniversary is on the table together with the pad with the list of the 97 photographers who had, up until then photographed me - as at August 2015, the number has increased to 357. The image is full of story and memory and Jo with superb skill and a natural eye has created a picture that captures that totally.



http://www.jometsonscott.co.uk/


CELEBRATE by Jillian Edelstein

 

What can I say about this brilliant photograph? I love it - I loved the other one by Jillian but I simply could not ditch this one in its place so she is one of only three photographers who have more than one photograph in the project.

I wish good money could be paid for growing and harvesting bramble because, over the years at our house at Ravenswood, we grew and harvested a great deal of it. So it seemed fitting to take some up with me for this shoot. It was ok as long as it didn't take root in any part of my anatomy.

http://www.jillianedelstein.co.uk/

WHERE I BELONG by Jillian Edelstein

Jillian's name was given to me by Steve Bloom and I have to admit that I had never really looked at much of her work before but once I had been given her name by Steve, I looked up her website and saw her fantastic images and so I was very keen to work with her. She said yes straightaway when I wrote to her by email in February 2010. We met at her house and she was extremely nice and very much wanted to help with galleries and other photographers. We arranged to meet again at her place for a shoot and she asked if I could bring with me a plant from the garden with some roots and earth on it.

And so it was that on 11th March 2010 I made my way back to her house, carrying with me a bag containing not only a small foxglove plant with earth and roots hanging off it but also several strands of bramble full of thorn and pointed leaves.

The shoot took place in her home studio and they were all in the nude. This shot was a bit of improvisation because Jillian had not planned to use the chair which had no seat because the rush matting had all but worn away completely but she felt that my being uncomfortable added something extra to the image.

We got on very well. Jillian reminds me of people from my past. She is a very warm and engaging person and a brilliant photographer.

http://www.jillianedelstein.co.uk/

STANDING VERY STILL by Dominic Harris

STANDING VERY STILL by Dominic Harris
When I read Dominic's advert in Time Out entitled "Standing Very Still", I thought that this would be a really neat way to end the project which, of course, had started with Graeme Montgomery's advert in the same magazine. Thirty four photographers later, I realise that this was not to be.

Nevertheless, it was an interesting exercise. I turned up at Westminster Bridge on a bright sunny morning on 20th February 2010 along with quite a few other people all of whom, as requested, were dressed in white or light coloured clothing. We were instructed to stand a few paces away from each other as Dominic, standing on the opposite side of the bridge, took the photograph with his camera on a tripod on a very slow exposure. We were also asked to stand very still which amused me because of my condition but I managed as, on a good day, I hardly shake at all.


I had not met Dominic before and so, after the completion of the shot, I went over and introduced myself. I love London and so it was cool to be photographed on a bridge which has certain connections for me. Not only did I adore the film of the same name starring Vivien Leigh and Robert Taylor which very much affected the younger me but also my two children were born not far away in Westminster Hospital.

Dominic 
http://www.dominicharris.co.uk/

Saturday, 26 February 2011

THINK OR FEEL by Lindsay Wakelin

THINK OR FEEL by Lindsay Wakelin 
I was introduced to Lindsay by James Reynard and I am not sure that I have met a more enthusiastic photographer.

She warned me in advance about having to hold a brain in my hand for the shot. I have done quite a few things for the first time during this project and holding a pig's brain was one of them. She saw the obvious connection with my brain but wanted to represent it with humour.

We did the shoot on the same day as the session with James Reynard and Lindsay was very patient whilst James completed his three shots. Of course, by then, she was raring to go and, as everything was already set up, we completed the two shots quite quickly. It was a long day but extremely enjoyable. Lindsay isn't as experienced as James but he is very generous with his advice and sensitive with any suggestions in that he allowed Lindsay to get on with things in her own way.

I  cannot quite remember which shot we tried first but it was certainly difficult to choose between the final images afterwards as they were all so good. What has impressed, and touched me most about this project is how much thought the photographers have put into the creation of their shots.

http://lindsaywakelinphotography.com/

http://www.lindsaywakelinphotography.com/blog/?p=874

WHO ARE WE? by James Reynard

WHO ARE WE? by James Reynard

I came across James through one of his sites on the internet and I thought that his work was brilliantly lit and that it may be worthwhile contacting him about the project. I am so glad I did.

We met in the Market Coffee House in where he introduced me to his friend and fellow photographer, Lindsay Wakelin, and they were both extremely enthusiastic about taking part in the project. We arranged subsequently for me to come to James' house at Wivenhoe where he had set up a home studio for both him and Lindsay to take some photographs.  One of James' main influences is Mervyn Peake who suffered from Parkinson's Disease and he had three ideas for the shoot the first being a simple portrait of me in a chair wearing black but with moody lighting and my head still but with a long exposure capturing the tremor in my hand. The second  was another full length portrait based on Peake's character, Steerpike in Gormenghast, sitting in a clock. James explained that "The character of Steerpike is close to my heart, despite (or maybe because of) his Machiavellian tendencies. He uses his wiles to control events around him and rises far above his 'station', yet he is finally undone by that which is inside of him - passion for a woman. Also, Steerpike acted different roles for different people, which is in one sense what you are doing with this project."


Finally, the third shot would be from outside of me standing behind a window but the window would carry reflections of the outside world which would merge with my naked torso. He did exactly what he planned and the results were tremendous. The Steerpike shot was excellently done but both Jane and I agreed that this shot just shaded it. Whereas the Gormenghast image had been digitally created on Photoshop, this final shot had not been edited at all which I think makes it all the more impressive not that I have anything against digital manipulation as you can see from some of the other photographs in the collection.
http://www.adrianmulton.co.uk/

http://www.thesensualphoto.com/

http://adrianmulton.blogspot.com/2010/02/over-hill-three-faces-of-tim.html

AT THE DOUBLE by Rob White

AT THE DOUBLE by Rob White

Rob is the son of the late, great John White of Tottenham Hotspur FC and Scotland and this is how we met.

When I go to bed, I always shake to begin with but then gradually, I fall into a semi sleep and then go into adeep sleep when I don't shake at all; in fact, I hardly move. However, I wake up in the night, go to the loo and then go to sleep in the spare room to avoid disturbing Jane. Stick with me on this. Sometimes, I find it hard to go to sleep immediately so, instead of counting sheep, I go through each member of the Spurs' team that won the "Double" (ie the League Championship and FA Cup) in 1961. I start with the goalkeeper, Bill Brown, but by the time I get to the centre half, Maurice Norman, I am asleep. There is a point to all this, I promise. Anyway, one morning I woke up and thought how good it would be to interview the surviving members of that team or their widows so I wrote to each of them care of Spurs and started to receive telephone calls and letters from my footballing heroes. One such call was from Rob who was calling on behalf of his mother and we had a great chat during which he told me that he had just written a book about his father called "Ghost" and that during the writing of the book, he had interviewed his former team mates and that he would ssend me their contact numbers.When subsequently, I received his email, I noticed that he signed it "Rob White - Photographer".........

So, now you see the point of this slightly long-winded story.

I met Rob at his studio in Clerkenwell (his speciality is food photography, incidentally) and I was struck immediately at how much he looked like his father. I had already talked to him about my own father and that we had something in common in that our respective fathers had both died when we were very young. I showed him my project on his computer and then he took this brilliant photograph of me using an incredibly bright circular light that was fitted to the lens of the camera which produced a very clear defined image which he felt was very much "me". I think he is right but, strangely, it does also have a sort of ghostly feel to it but maybe I am reading too much into it. Either way, I love it and I am very proud of its associations and very honoured to have met Rob who is very much liked by the old Spurs' players I have since met.
Rob White


http://www.robwhitephoto.com/

http://www.theghostofwhitehartlane.co.uk/

DEMONSTRATE by Tara Darby

DEMONSTRATE by Tara Darby

I wrote to Tara in June 2009 saying that her name had been given to me by Linda Brownlee (more of whom, later) and asking if she would like to be part of my project. Sure enough, eight months later, we met in her studio in Dalston where she took this great portrait. That it took so long is a testament to her skill as a photographer as she is so much in demand. I was also very heartened by the fact that, in that time, she continued to be keen on doing it.


Her studio is a great space and part of a larger open plan area which she shares with other artists. I felt good going there because we had already met and chatted about the project and so I felt quite at ease. Also, Dalston has happy connotations for me as I used to drive through there on the way to seeing Tottenham play in the 1970s and 1980s. Tara is also the nicest person and her work is beautiful. I felt very honoured to be working with her.
Tara Darby


http://www.eastphotographic.com/

http://www.taradarby.com/

http://miniaturelove.blogspot.com/

TAS by Vanessa Winship

Vanessa is one of my favourite photographers and so I was extremely pleased that she reacted positively to my approach asking if she would like to be part of my project. She pointed out that she had not really made so many images of men (at least not consciously) and, therefore, it could also be space for her to explore.

We arranged to meet initially at, yes you've guessed it, Waterloo Station and then look for somewhere to have lunch. We chose the Turkish restaurant called Tas in The Cut opposite the Young Vic Theatre. On the way, Vanessa asked me if I had mentioned the name of Rankin in my original email in order to entice her to work with me. I admitted that I had done so and she said that it didn't work because she was not an admirer of his work. I pointed out that she had agreed to photograph me anyway!

We had a long lunch and discussed the project and me and my illness amongst other things and we left it that she would arrange to come down to Milford to photograph me there. And so it was that on 12th February 2010 Vanessa came to Ravenswood to photograph me. She used a large format camera and took photographs both inside the house and in the garden. When she photographed me outside she asked me to put a golden coin in my eye so that she could focus the camera on that. I suggested that, for one shot, I left the coin in place.

When Vanessa eventually was able to send me an image she chose "this little threesome" as she put it and said that it was rather nice to include the shot with the coin in my eye as it spoke not only of her methodology but also of her eyesight which seemed to her to make sense in this context. She also pointed out that the other two close images were really quite similar but the subtle shift in my expression in each changed the emotional mood of the whole piece. She ended by saying that she hoped that the project would continue to be a great and interesting adventure. And so it came to pass....

Vanessa is one of the great photographers of all time.

Vanessa Winship


SIDEWAYS by Kevin Wong

SIDEWAYS by Kevin Wong
Kevin was introduced to me by Alicia Chiu who is an MA student in Graphic Design at Middlesex University. She was undertaking a project about people
suffering from Parkinson"s Disease and their carers.

I went to the university on 25th January 2010 where she interviewed me about my illness and during the course of the interview and afterwards, Kevin photographed me.

I particularly liked this image which reminded me of the painting by Jane called"The Art of Looking Sideways".

Alicia subsequently sent to me a copy of her final design forming part of her project which was very impressive.

Alicia Chiu and me