This is a bit of a catchall category for work that doesn’t fit the other categories or is my photography of other peoples work.
The Polaroid series of images were my attempt to carve out a more personalised set of images that few people seemed to be working with. It’s a very specific type of Polaroid film called Polacolor 669. It’s a type of Polaroid film that no one has attempted to re-create during the recent resurgence of interest in this kind of photography and therefor no longer exists. It requires a ‘gizmo’ from the USA called Photolab which directly transfers transparencies/slides onto polaroid film. It’s then possible to carry out two different treatments, lifts and transfers. Lifts involve soaking the Polaroid in warm water and ‘lifting’ the gelatin layer off it’s backing and then, still under water, re-distributing it onto any surface of choice. For me, the most successful lift was the image of a stained wall and window near Waterloo station. The transfers involve half-developing the image and then interrupting the development and pressing the image onto a damp surface. Both methods have a high failure rate and damage to the images…sometimes welcome and sometimes not. I was just beginning to work out the best images to use and improving my technique when Polaroid went out of business. So, like them or not, these are fairly unique images, never to be repeated.
Colourspace was a revelation. At first glance, from the outside, a fairly industrial looking structure of connected rubber cubes but once inside, a magical maze of brilliant colours lit only by natural light coming through the top of the structure. I was in photographic heaven whilst Rob and Jack revelled in the great playspace it afforded them.
I was so glad to get to see Rachel Whitread’s ‘House’ before the local council carried out one of the worst acts of cultural vandalism in this country…and tore it down. Shame on them.
I read about James Turrell in the early ’90’s and discovered that there was an Art Gallery in Mayfair showing one of his pieces. I had the place to myself and having entered the completely blacked-out space, I sat and watched as the wall opposite me started to emit a green fog. Without question, the most transcendental Art experience I’ve ever had. I recently went to to Houghton Hall in Norfolk with a couple of friends to see a major exhibition of his work. Unfortunately the same experience was less effective there and the ‘Skyspace’, which I had longed to see, was spoiled by an overcast day. It really requires an ‘active’ sky and the best time to see it, is when the sun starts to go down and internal lights start to gradually emerge creating a surreal experience unparalleled. I did take these two photographs but you can’t photograph an ‘active’ work like this. I think he’s a genius. If I had a bucket list, it would include a visit to The Rodon Crater, a Meteor crater in the Arizona Desert USA which he purchased and is turning into a vast Installation.
In the interests of openness, I confess that the image of swirling colours was a complete accident. It happened when I was removing a roll of film in Canada. A happy accident. A one off. I could never re-create that.
The hand painted B&W photographs were done at a time when I couldn’t afford to do colour photography and was a way of introducing some colour into a B&W world. I quite like them and they are unique and unrepeatable.