The first iteration…
I’m often asked what I do in my down time… well, the answer to that is that I can be found doing all sorts of creative things – including more photography! Yes, I will happily take on personal projects – shot using digital and film cameras. I love to experiment and see how far I can push ideas. If a project that starts life shot digitally resonates in the right areas with me, then I will transfer over onto film to gather a body of work to print for my own pleasure – often to have framed for my home. I liken it to going to the gym – it keeps my photography in good shape!
Away from all cameras I can be found making all sorts of things – why? Quite simply, i find it so very deeply relaxing. I love to surround myself with all things nature, as you know and there is nothing that brings me more joy than bringing nature home… either from foraging trips with my dogs or from the garden.
At the end of last Summer, I foraged some lovely seedheads from the local fields and also harvested my very own lavender for the sole purpose of making a couple of wreaths to hang in and around my house. I am no florist and my results are often rather rustic, but that really doesn’t matter, it is the pure pleasure that I find in the gathering and making of these pieces of art! It feeds my creative soul…
The second iteration…
Another thing that feeds my creative soul is to visit galleries and museums to drink in the unexpected. There is nothing better to me than going with an open mind, to look at nothing particular and see what pops up as inspiration. I will happily wander round Museums and be drawn in by a new exhibition or suddenly notice colour combinations or shapes or new groupings of items in permanent collections. I can visit during the Winter months when the bright jewel colours of old eastern ceramics will pop out and speak to me, then I can go in the Summer months and fall for the pastel colour palettes of early Victorian painters.
I am a huge fan of the Botanical Illustrations collected by the legend that is Dame Shirley Sherwood and will always go and visit the Gallery at Kew that is named after her. It is the world’s first public gallery dedicated to classic and contemporary botanical art and for me, there is no better inspiration for botanical photograph than spending an afternoon gazing at the photo realistic gems in the collections there. I will come away with a head full of ideas that I pen out on the tube and train when I travel back home. Rebecca Louise Law’s temporary instillation of a thousand garlands of flowers – Life in Death, is still inspiring me today and Louise was in turn inspired by the ancient Egyptian preserved funeral garlands.
Creative Cross Training in action.
I am always stopped in my tracks when I look a the work of Danish painters Vilhelm Hammershøi and Carl Vilhelm Holsøe – the light of the paintings and the oh so pared back colour palettes that both artists used have had a huge influence on my work. For food, still life or dark and moody photography my default for inspiration is always the Dutch artists of the Golden Age. It may be something as simple and often unobserved as the way the peel from a lemon falls towards the table, but so often it is that light.
To go full circle – that light is so often the inspiration for personal work… when the light of 1575 – 1675 is enough to really push you creatively yourself – that is what I call Creative Cross Training.
BE CURIOUS | PLAY | GROW