Monday, November 22, 2010

the final seven ...

 here they are ...the final seven choices for the first exhibition,
opening today at the Accademia delle Belle Arte Lecce







let the show begin....

Saturday, November 20, 2010

one single perfect print...


2 months shooting 
4 days in the darkroom
427 mosquitoe bites
150 sheets of film
4x5" 

and I can now show one single perfect print 
on utterly beautiful fibre-based archival photographic paper,
brought in from the UK as there is none in the whole of the EU that I can find.

I had forgotten how precious this stuff is ...
how much more beautiful the images look than on the regular resin coated plasticised photo paper we are used to.
I had also forgotten how super long it takes to develop , stop bath , rinse, fix and then washing under running water for 45 minutes ...
2  days to dry 
*test proofs take a minimum of 30 minutes before you can turn the lights on and see what it's even looking like..........


then the worry about how to flatten it out after it curls during the drying, not to mention how it darkens up over the course of the 2 days drying ...


tricky

well ...anyway the giant works are hung for the first show 



and 
I have one single beautiful perfect tiny print
laid out to dry, in the darkroom, on a towel in the Accademia delle Belle Arte

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ents .... a meeting

nothing to say ,..... alot of Enty old "tree beards" ....
having a meeting 
creaking and groaning like old boats 
a storm coming in from the Mediterranean heading for the Adriatic ...








1 day to finish as much as possible for the first exhibition... we hang it on friday 19th Nov...

second show on the 27th will be projections of the works on the castle wall here...

I will continue shooting until the last moment before I leave here so I have material enough for a beautiful book
but the light is changing and the shadows are blocking up  so I have been here at exactly the right moment ...in reality

but I need about another 6 months for this project ............... aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrghhhhhhhhh !

no pressure no pressure ...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

"la raccolta" ... harvesting olives in Salento


all through the countryside husbands and wives are out in the olive groves collecting and sifting olives and leaves in the first part of the harvest ...
the clean up around the base of each tree before the nets go down

hard back breaking work...
flashes of colour in a giant flower field caught my attention so I went to see what was going on
Marissa said she is very very tired at the end of each day 


Tomaso gave me 3 oranges from their tree that is groaning with fruit

later I found a magic fairy trullo...

and this running screaming skeleton olive tree.... :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

un piccolo mondo nascosto ...

you would never know it was there 
apart from the little box of tiny, grey clay gnomes sitting outside the door in a cobblestone alleyway to dry....

Alfredo's world is about 4 shoulder spans wide 
packed with all the local characters of fable and folklore.

 Tiny  mediaeval folk made of terracotta clay , they are absolutely beautiful even before they are painted ... Alfredo puts on his selotaped glasses and puts a board over his knees and gets to work on a new set of gnomes, while I prowl around in circles with my tripod. Apart from an elevator in Milan this is one of the most confined spaces I have ever shot in ... 




inspired by Breugel and Bosch, Alfredo's tiny characters come to life under his hands ...I wish I had made a little movie ...


this afternoon back to the mosquito swamps ... a new strange Olive grove full of distorted old professors and philosophers has been found  ... quite by accident

Sunday, November 7, 2010

mary poppins town ....

festival of the vino novello at Leveranto

(dodgey photos from my phone ... which takes the worst photos I ever saw,  ....blurry and messed up even in full daylight... so mad at myself ...this happens everytime I think Im not going to take my heavy camera gear around, for once..... errrghhhhhh)

but it was a magical night ..
I loved that it was all teenagers playing traditional "Taranta" music and singing and dancing ... playing tambourines, accordian , spoons 
a different group on each corner or in each alcove of the town 
pizzica

video


video

the "Taranta" ... a kind of whirling jumping dance that is symbolic of what happens during the olive harvest if you get bitten by the tarantula... e vola vola vola ...

and this stilt walker sitting in a window bashfully crossing and uncrossing his legs , playing a little pipe...with a long beaky mask on .. I dont know how they were walking on the uneven jumbly cobblestones .....so sweet
video

Friday, November 5, 2010

silence ...

silence is mostly all you will hear from me for the next 2 weeks ... now the fundraising for the project is over it is time for me to really really concentrate on photographing the trees in the best possible way.

today was amazing ...perfect white overcast conditions with breaks of sun to stretch your back out and straighten out all the creakyness from crouching in the mosquito swamps looking at an upside down image on a ground glass screen, and trying to work out if you like the composition from the upside down and back to front image which is all you can see
I went back to Trepuzzi today ... the craziest olive grove yet
Trepuzzi in my translation means "3 stinks" 
but apparently in dialect it means 3 wells... I like my version better, makes me laugh

Now I seem to be completely at odds with Italian timing ... while they are all closed behind doors for lunch and siesta I am out in the fields on my knees with mosquitoes the size of helicopters attacking my face... I can count 17 bites around my jaw and neck and temples and even in my hair ...erghhhhhh

I want to thank everyone who was involved in the kickstarter , you are all absolutely brilliant, and generous and now I can get down to work.
Just dont be surprised that I will be very quiet in the next weeks

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

day 2 .... on film ......

I had forgotten ... film itself has a very particular smell...
and now with my arms in the portable darkroom film change bag I smell the past

today and yesterday were sad days and the trees knew ...


wait for me...




I guess there is 28 hours left, if you want to be involved in this project ... and help me make the best show and book that I can ...
it's here at kickstarter

you may end up with some pretty unusual Christmas presents ... :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

and now it begins ....

the film has arrived from Germany
Kickstarter is up to target
I have a little car to zip around in with all my gear , 4 different types of camera and tripods and film chassis and darkroom change tents etc...
and the weather is packing up ... which is a good thing !!! 
I want overcast !







photo essay (of the commencement of filmwork) by the brilliant and infamous Captain Jack
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