As the deadline fast approaches for this particular round of images I am reflecting on some of the amazing people I have met and the time that they have allowed me to speak with them.I have learnt that as with any creative pursuit we actually never retire. We shall carry on dancing, photographing, writing, painting, singing and drawing until we are physically unable to. For me this project is a lot about connection and how do people come together? I think there is a human need that is fulfilled within creativity and theatre spaces create that specific "shared experience" that cannot be reached via tv, cinema or social media.
Marshall McLulan predicted the global village and the internet his prediction was that it would bring people together, make the world smaller. But some of my participants do not use technology, it has created "distance" for them, not connection The internet has its pluses for sure but nothing can replace a "coming together" of humans in one place: a concert, a dance, a theatre production an exhibition. These experiences bind us. What happens when we are not around anymore to tell our story. Will technology change our story?
I think my approach to the images as changed as the series has rolled out and I have hidden away a number of traditional portraits which allowed me to try and capture the connection with each sitter. With an ultimate ambition to pay homage to each participant.
At last Nina Bedini the initial person I met and inspiration for the project let me into her home this month to photograph her. I spent the afternoon looking through her personal archives, listening to her stories of how she had met her husband and became that foot juggler. It seems crazy to me that her grandchildren (who I know a little) did not find out that their grandfather and Nina's husband had been in The Rock and Roll Circus until he had gone. Please sit down with your family and dig deep to get those stories of who you are and where you are from - otherwise they disappear into the ether.
A big thank you goes out to the Big Issue this month https://www.bigissuenorth.com/features/2018/09/time-and-tide/ who featured the series and also featured the first female Doctor, Jodie Whittaker on the cover which felt timely and historical. Thanks again to The Big Issue.
Patricia Lemoine stands in front of the weather-beaten railings before Blackpool's North Pier, surveying the imposing 500ft steel structure on the other side of the road. But she's not admiring Blackpool Tower as a feat of engineering or a tourist attraction, but as a landmark of her past ...