Three calendar months – Aprimajune – have galloped by and I’m only now getting to write this update. That does reflect a full enough diary and lots of stretching and flexing to fit commissions into place. Thirty minutes is the time allotted to scribe today then it’s off to actual. physical bodily stretching; Ben’s yoga class is my next appointment. I have a need to stay supple and as strong. It’s a promise I made to myself long ago. Not only for this role of photographer, which certainly demands some load-bearing and steady arms, but also historically because I had to lug around a lot of small people and one of them didn’t reliably walk until the age of 6/7. And, going forwards, simply for life itself. Life is long, if we’re lucky enough to be blessed with years and years – and what a set they delivered at Glastonbury, incidentally – and for as many days as I’m zipped in to this meat suit, I’m aiming to dance and enjoy them, invert to a confident headstand and hold a strong tree pose.
Here’s what I’ve been up to in my work of late …
Copper, a cacophony of machine noise and Cara
There is mesmerising light and colour in Cara’s workshop. Her inspiration, she finds it in outdoor wild spaces, seams of sedimentary rocks and coastal rockpool swim haunts. For my part, I found her indoor studio space pretty wild and energising with all its thumping hammers, hissing welding noises and fizzing steamy bursts.
Imagine if, in autumn, all the richly coloured fallen leaves in your garden were to magically twirl themselves up into a globe shape and turn to shiny copper? To glint their nature shapes back to you through the longest, dark winter months. Cara makes this kind of magic happen through her art.
I spent a colourful, noisy afternoon with the sculptor, capturing her process. Welding, hammering, fusing, not the leaf globe pictured but rather, some smaller pieces which were looking tantalising on the bench in the late sun of the afternoon.
Oak & Alison
The Woodcarver’s Studio welcomed its first official visitors for a wonder of a woodful weekend in celebration of this newly erected creative space. Al is just one of my clients with work showcasing at RHS Chelsea this year; her benches featured as the focal point of the Jamie Butterworth’s winning garden.
Alison Crowther completed the oak-framed Studio last autumn and has grand plans to share her skills and knowledge, grown over a whole carving career, with the next generation and well into the future .
Four hearts, two signature statement pieces and RHS Chelsea
Reasons to jubilate; it wasn’t just la Reine Elizabeth. Oli Carter had ample cause for cheer also, with two pieces of scorched work featuring at RHS Chelsea in May. This particularly distinctive stool here has four hearts to welcome each human who sits upon it. One of eight seats which surround *Bodelia* a gigantor of a cedarwood table. To lift and transport Bodelia in her entirety, oof?! Oli, it certainly worked your (one) heart to shift all of those eight seats into position for our photo shoot. A Bodelian rather than a Herculean effort.
His second piece was a scorched bench which sat in Pollyanna Wilkinson’s garden.
This time last week I was here, at the yard with Oli, capturing the scorched detail of his piece which then was transported to the Mothers For Mothers Garden at RHS Chelsea. A contemplative space designed by Pollyanna Wilkinson and build by Landcraft UK. A solid centrepiece in the sanctuary of greens and orange Iris ‘Wondrous’.
Before transit, we pulled together an impromptu set up in the muck & mire of a Monday golden hour in Oli’s working timberyard, hemmed between two big green containers & with a giant dust sheet for a backdrop yet have managed some slick and shiny shots nonetheless.
Raising children in a society so fractured, tail-chasing and socio-economically stretched is no straightforward task. And with so many elements to modern living urging us towards immediacy and super-urgency, we can seem to be more together yet feel ever more apart and isolated at times. Neither people nor gardens respond particularly well to attempts to *force them*.
The following words are from the RHS website.
The expression ‘This too shall pass’ is a mantra passed between mothers navigating the challenges of raising young children and the associated mental health challenges that can come with it, from post natal depression, to anxiety and isolation. This garden is a garden for mothers and represents a place of transition; from despair to hope.
Hammocks and Trout
I met a savvy puddle duck during a branding shoot for the multi-use venue of Meon Springs on the South Downs Way; Jemima knows she’s onto a good thing with hikers passing through to quack at for sarnie scraps and anglers’ bait boxes to beg from nearby.
Meon Springs hosts trout fishing at its lakes, corporate days with on site clay pigeon, archery and bushcraft activities. There’s also a yurt village with incredible views and colourful hand-painted decor, fire pits and hammocks to unwind from as well as a boulevard of cosy shepherd huts overlooking the waterside. I stayed overnight and feasted on yak’s milk yogurt. I actually brought some deli pastries from Madeleine’s Kitchen and had to be up for an 8:00 am circuits class, so didn’t savour the full relaxing under-the-stars experience on this occasion!
- My new Pendleton poncho towel for summer sea swimming. Well, the drying after-swim part that is.
- Confidence Man whose Glastonbury set I’ve edited several client galleries to already.
- Waking the Tiger by Peter Levine. Exploring our instinctual capacity to heal and offering a hopeful vision of trauma, this important text came to light for me recently. Unpacking and understanding lived experiences is, I believe, a giant piece in our life’s work.
- Kombucha ; with warmer temperatures, I’ve started up the brewing once again and am so delighted to have the kick of the K back at the start of my days.
If you have a need to commission photography, either personally or for your business, and either currently or in the near future, I’m a phone call away. Talking through your needs can help clarify what kind of photography you wish to commission; this may or may not be with me and I understand this! Phone conversations are always without obligation. My mobile no. 07900 626865