This time last year I was preparing for a presentation from Spain via Skype.
It was 9am in the UK and a comfortable 11am in sunny Spain. I’d put my face on, slurped a couple of coffees down and settled in for my first ever job interview via Skype. Welcome to the age of technology! (I know it’s not a new thing for many of you, but it was a flipping revelation for me).
The project I had pitched was Wear Experimenting. An ambitious call to action inviting the people of Sunderland to create photographic art with me that considers the crosscurrents between science and photography. Working with The Cultural Spring and NEPN.
Fantastically, I got the commission then it was full tilt until the end of November. My first workshop sessions were with the Parker Trust in Pallion. A great community organisation who were brilliant hosts. I also lucked out with the brilliant group who attended the sessions. They supported me through the whole project. The first sessions were great for problem solving. Most of the workshops I had walked through in my mind palace. The problem is that there are some things that look mint in the mind palace but in real life spark the interest of the local constabulary!
As with so many solargraphy and pinhole photography projects we put our cameras up in public. We made stickers to say what they were, and what they were for. But, we nearly kicked off a bomb scare! Apologies for the embarrassment, but I’m not called maverick art for nothing. Anywho, we collected them all back in and luckily no harm no foul. The next rounds were put in windows and back gardens, with only one more minor incident concerning the maintenance staff of a building. But you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette.
We created solargraphs, cyanotypes and instax portraits. You can have a go at a solargraph yourself by purchasing some Ilford resin coated darkroom photography paper and a can of pop. Just be wary about getting into trouble with the fuzz.