Happy new year, lovely creatures!
It has been a wondrous and encouraging start to the new year, with my short story ‘She’s a Liquid‘ about to be published in the Wily Writers next anthology, and my short story ‘Wire‘ has been included in the shortlist for round 4 of the Aeon Awards. There is also a collaboration piece to look forward to later this year, and I will of course continue to work hard on the novel (which I admit, was put aside for (mostly trashy) films over the holidays, although, I did have flu, so I thought that was a pretty good excuse. And I must make a mention of the film ‘A Town Called Panic‘ – crazy! lovely! more crazy! I adore that film).
As well as writing projects, I have a wee photography exhibition coming up at a local language school, so if you’re in the Edinburgh area over the next few weeks, please check it out. Prints are an affordable £15, and there are some postcards for sale at £1.50.
I am interested in the point at which the present and the past meet, collide, and collapse in on each other, and the role of new and old technology.
With the rise of digital photography, Polaroid began its decline. Yet, there has been a recent interest in analogue photography, and The Impossible Project re-lit the Polaroid flame in March 2010.
I received my first Impossible film as a birthday gift in January 2011, dug out the old Polaroid camera we’d picked up at a charity shop, and swiftly became addicted.
I enjoy watching the film develop, playing with temperature and light to affect the exposure. I am captivated by the ethereal, otherworldly feel of the photographs. And I adore the faults. After working with the perfect crispness of digital photography, there is a delight in the beautiful imperfections of Impossible film. I love the speckled blotches, the burnt corners, and the lancing borders which the chemicals have failed to cross. I am fascinated by the images as they degrade and transform into something new.
And I love being able to combine them with current digital technology. The Impossible photographs in this exhibition have all been scanned and adjusted (sometimes merely cropped; some have had the colour and exposure slightly altered). This meeting of old and current technology embraces my ethos of ‘and’, rejecting the binary ‘either/or.’ I am always excited by new ways to engage with and manipulate images.
Further pursuing my interest in the meeting of past and present, some of photographs in the exhibition are from a 1960s 8mm film (‘Daytrip’, above). I took photographs with a digital SLR as the films were running, capturing moments, some of which are already ceding to the next image in the film. I see in these films an old, faded glamour, a ghostly beauty. One of the films was shot by my mum with her 8mm camera, and is a daytrip of family and friends. The other film captures my mum and dad’s wedding.
Wallowing in the past, or a false ‘golden age’ nostalgia, is not something I’m interested in, but the past always has reverberations that impact on the present, and in this present there are new ways on offer through which to engage with the past. Most of all, my love of photography comes from a love of storytelling. Each photograph in this exhibition tells a story, and I hope you will get lost in these different worlds.
Music is also a huge inspiration, and the soundtrack to these photos are Manic Street Preachers, The Raveonettes, PJ Harvey, and Lana Del Ray. I hope the photographs will suggest music to you too.