Meanwhile…

Original photograph by Emily Hughes

Original photograph by Emily Hughes

Emily’s photograph currently resides in Beckenham (a London suburb, or a town on the fringes of Kent depending on your point of view), on our dining table. The photograph is a delicate thing and handling it makes me worry protectively at its ephemeral nature and about its onward journey, but hey it made it from Canada to here (thanks, Karen!).

It’s been both fascinating and daunting to see artworks accumulate around the project’s central image. For my own contribution I wanted to make a work that could not exist without Emily’s photograph; I deliberately set out to make an adjunct to it.

My immediate question on receiving the package was what was going on on the train when Emily took her shot. So, I got on the train to find out.

Meanwhile (inside spread), 2013

Once I started photographing people in the carriage, I realised it was their hands that would tell my story. And a book seemed like an appropriate way to go form-wise. Over several days, I took a lot of surreptitious photographs of hands. These I narrowed down to a “top ten”, which became the recto pages of the book. Aside from the title page and a basic colophon there is no text in the book. It’s constructed from inkjet card, double-sided coated paper and a couple of staples.

Here are a few of the original shots:

Page 8

Page 5

Page 10

* * *

I wonder where this photograph will travel to next. The journey hasn’t been completely mapped out yet. If you would like to participate in the project take a look here.
If you want to know more about how Journey of a Photograph started visit Emily’s blog. To visit my blog go here.

It has been a pleasure to guest edit as part of this project. Thank you very much, Emily!

Images 2-6 © Richard Guest, 2013

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35 thoughts on “Meanwhile…

  1. Interesting. I like the hands… there’s a lot you can tell from hands in repose, forced or otherwise, and how the rest of the person feels about it.

  2. Richard, I love that you made a book! The portraits of hands are wonderful. A gentle stillness in each one. ‘Meanwhile’ is perfect.
    This project just gets more interesting all the time!

    • Thanks so much, Karen! Ha, yes, after much swearing (used the wrong kind of knife to do my initial page trim) it was satisfying to actually make an object again. Yes, this project’s fascinating – I love the diversity of the additions so far. And the fact that it’s impossible to predict where it’s going to go next.

  3. TERRIFIC! Incredible process and idea! Would love to handle that book and take the necessary time. I also like the metaphor of this particular photograph traveling by hands….thanks RIchard – really really satisfying

  4. Richard – this is just a fabulous response. I agree with you that hands can tell a story; they have always intrigued me for this reason, sometimes more so than faces. And it is so fitting that as this photograph passes from hand to hand you have made something concrete and tangible and ‘handle-able’. A book. I really hope that you enjoyed working on this project. Thank you so much for your imaginative and inspiring contribution. I so want to get my hands on it!

    • Thanks so much, Emily. I’m really glad you like it. Thanks for the opportunity to work on the project – I really enjoyed it. It was fun and reignited my interest in making things.

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  6. Fantastic interpretation Richard, and love the book idea, very tender to look at, wish I could hold it in person!

    • Thanks very much, Cath! The book’s not much bigger than the pics you see here. Yes, I’m not quite sure what to do with the book – it’s in a box at the moment.

  7. this collaboration is fascinating – to see how each person is interpreting the idea.The portraits of the hands are perfect-so much layered meaning behind them, like the photograph. Thanks for guiding me to Emily. Carla

    • Yes, it’s great – the photograph travels from one place to the next, inspires a work, and then on it goes, unencumbered. Thanks very much, Carla. You’re welcome – Emily’s also great.

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  9. Your creativity is something of a deep well, isn’t it, Richard. I was strangely moved by your story. Hmmm. You are such a very thoughtful person. I liked this book making very much.

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