It is September and a busy time if you want to apply for art funding from particular sources. I have been sitting by my computer a little more than usual and sending in applications for grants – fingers crossed! I have also taken up a couple of new things – September has always been like that, especially so due to the fact that our summer residency ends early September. And what a residency it was this year! For the entire month of August we had a crowd of ten artists in the house creating fantastic things, injecting inspiration all around! I should write an entire entry about that month as this crowd really marked me! Ever since these artists-in-residence left, I have been dwelling in my own artistic endeavours. I did not go to the river and start canoeing around the island (yet) as I first planned, instead I decided to do test how to create photos with anthotype. This method uses the photosensitive materials of plants to produce a photograph. I was hoping to try this with blueberries or lingonberries but even if the timing for that would certainly be ideal, the geographical coordinates are wrong of course. Maybe I should have them brought here deep frozen next time I am in Europe? So, instead of berries I tried to squeeze a maximum of colour out of bissap (hibiscus leaves) and I have now coated a paper twice with this fuchsia juice. The moment of truth is set for tomorrow when I’ll expose a negative on it on the rooftop.
I have also started a new underwater photo project and so far had three shooting sessions. It has been interesting to discover the extent to which water transforms people. I mean, when you go under the surface and pose to the camera, you may be a bit frightened first, but after a while when you get more used to not breathing and not filling your lungs with air – that makes it very hard to remain under the surface! – something happens and I can see how the person relaxes and how water suddenly accommodates the person in a fantastic way, like in a womb. When I mentioned this project to a friend, he suggested that the water would be a terribly restrictive element for anyone participating. My experience has always been the opposite. When I dive – without equipment – I feel the vastness of the water and its moves with every pore of my skin, particularly so in the ocean. I have now witnessed that same thing happen to some who posed for me – one of them declared he was a poor swimmer and was not even certain he could remain under water for more than three seconds and in two days he transformed nearly into a human equivalent of an otter!
For quite some time now I have been very attracted to work on projects that have a connection to water, and there is no end in sight. I would like to develop my skills with alternative photography methods and see how my photography on water and anything shot under water transforms with this media. It looks like I will finally have some good chemistry in October to see that transformation in action, cannot wait!