Lines

My small contribution to Journey of a Photograph is now off to its next recipient.

travel-on

It’s taken me a while to be ready to make something for this project, in part because of all the travel and work that came between the parcel’s arrival and my own ability to stop and think about what I could add … what would be a suitable and (hopefully) interesting addition to the diversity I found sandwiched in the envelope.

parcel-open

I wanted to bring something about motion and space and connection to bear here. The Photograph and its travelling companions have been all over the planet, and in the last few months, I have been across the country, twice. The time and kilometres spent at 35000 feet or more could be a divisive thing – a separation from what keeps me going. It can be seen that way, certainly. Being ‘away’ is like that: the removal from home and all that entails, separation from family and friends and familiar things that ground and keep us whole. But the going to provided their own sense of home and community; these just-past travels brought me to new friends, allowed me to re-connect to others I know already, provided the opportunity to go to places I hold dear in my heart and see family that I miss deeply too.

skynsea

Like the pull of the tide, this motion has seemed inevitable, and essential.

 

Lines.

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On a map. Highways, dirt side roads, borders, boundaries. Railways. Ways of getting to. And from. And away.

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On my hands and around my eyes, the parts of me most evident and face-first in the making, and moving from one place to another. Squinting into the sun. Looking at the horizon.

 

At what comes next.

wave

On a shore, marking time and tide and the space between one land and another. Divisions metaphorical too – not to be crossed.

fromthebeach

I made a photocollage to send on: using the original Photograph as the base layer, adding another image I found in the package, and then finally some image stills for a video I shot in the UK last year.

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But, in the end, this seemed inadequate to the task at hand: attempting to capture space and time and motion and the movement of one small package that – in traversing the globe – has connected, and will continue to connect – so many people.

So. In the end, my final offering is this:

 

… travel on … and enjoy the journey, and the stillness within it.

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The journey

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I have sent the photograph today. Here is a little bit about its past life:

It is an old photograph, which started life as a transparency, and I have had re-printed. I took this photograph over 10 years ago now, on an Olympus OM-4. The film was Fuji, but I forget now whether it was velvia or sensia, unfortunately. I took the picture as part of a larger project about in-between spaces. When I was trying to think of a photograph to send on this journey (it seemed an impossible task!), I spent a long time searching around in my brain until I came up with this one. I wanted to send something old which I could make new for the project. Something which already had some history, and personal meaning to me. It was taken whilst on a journey, and so it seemed fitting to use it as a starting point for this project, to be ‘taken’ on a new journey, so to speak.

I hunted down the original slide in the attic. I spent a long while looking at it, and experimenting before I decided to make it black and white. It was originally colour, but the colours were nondescript, which worked for the original project it was included in, but for this I wanted it to be black and white. I can’t really tell you why except that it felt right to change it somehow.

I have dated it today, the beginning of the journey: 10/4/2013, and I scribbled some words on the back:

From A to B, and somewhere in-between… these are the spaces which haunt my dreams…

They are more of a prompt – some random thoughts – than a title or label of any kind. The photograph is not especially beautiful or memorable. It is not remarkable, or of anywhere, or anything in particular; it is not an identifiable place. It is nowhere.

Let its journey begin.