Saturday, 11 August 2007

A few days away

We’ve just had a few days away at my mother’s house. Nearly a week. Refreshing, as always, visiting this place I have known for the largest part of my life. Not only getting away from the city, but so much more…hard to put into words.

Every time I go I pack my camera gear – sometimes more, sometimes less. Sometimes I take everything, because I never know what I’m going to feel like using. Sometimes I take no pictures at all.

I started documenting the house and garden in a more or less strategic way - or rather with no strategy beyond the fact that I knew for certain it was something I had to do - five years ago, soon after the death of my father. In that first year the pictures I took were raw and possibly rough in a black-and-white kind of way. I realise, this time, how the pictures are changing, becoming less about my father and his place there (and possibly my relationship to him) and more about the place itself. The pictures I think are softer, and I am taking many in colour as well as always black-and-white; the place, after all, is full of vibrant colour at this time of year - and above all, soft greens and grassy fawns in a natural, slightly overgrown kind of way. On the edge of being out of control - physically itself at the boundary of a controlled kind of wilderness - but just maintained, and in balance…less edgy than the first pictures when the future was uncertain, everything was let loose, and there was no equilibrium to be found, in a place that had always been predictable, and sure.