A box of pictures, memories, and no real plan (yet)…

That’s the state of my next project so far, but it feels like the right time to do it at least. It’s taken a while, 4 years in the making, so no pressure.

My project, at present, is called “Standing in my mother’s kitchen”, though it has had many other names, I’m sure it will change again. It’s about me retracing my mothers life, in all it’s fascinating parts.

Where to start though? She had many different lives. Described in her obituary as the “Doyenne of the counter-culture and the British restaurant revolution”. It feels like there is too much to tell, perhaps why I feel a bit over whelmed by it all. I suppose I just need to tell it in my words and pictures, it’s not a biography, nor a historical record, it’s my personal journey along her life: the person who brought me into the world, the person I’ve been the closest to for all of my life, and who I watched died 4 years ago. She was there at the start of my life, and I was there at the end of hers, maybe this is some kind of way of linking both our lives together in someway…or maybe that just sounds really wanky!?

Me & Mum when we lived in Rome, 1988 I think.

 

I’ve done recce trips, been through boxes upon boxes of memories & old recipes, read endless old cook books, books about the 60’s & newspaper clippings, spoken to many of my her old friends and chefs, tried to trace others, cooked her recipes, relived old memories through the smells and tastes of her food, driven around empty landscapes, hung out in american diners, thought and thought way too much about what it is I really am doing (still not exactly sure what the outcome will be but maybe that is a good thing), so after all that it just feels like it’s time to do it properly. It would have been my mums 71st birthday last week, so maybe that’s given me a kick up the arse to get on with it. If I write this blog post then it’s not private any more and I’ll need to do what I say I’m doing.

I’m hoping to launch my first Kickstarter campaign in May (so I’ll be hitting you all up for support!), and then leave in June to start what ever it is that I’m doing, somewhere, well the US first, then a few places in Europe and around the UK, trying to tell a story somehow, in someway…

 

Some of the hundreds of photos I have from across her life.
Her childhood in America, 1950s
Sue + Dad LA c.'60
My grandparents in LA, 1950’s
Mum, with her mate Paul, at what may have been the Sgt Peppers shoot.

 

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Recipes & restaurant reviews

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My first attempt at Tarte Tatin, it got better after this…
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Some of my inheritance.
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Mums kitchen.

 

Tranquility

I recently had the pleasure of photographing Tim Andrews for his portrait series ‘Over The Hill’. He’s been photographed by over 300 invited photographers since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. See the project here: Over the Hill

He has asked some of the biggest names in the business to photograph him, so when his invite came in I felt very honoured to have been asked and excited about what I could do that would be different to the rest. I looked at many of the images on his site and I admit I slightly panicked, some are very theatrical and elaborate, not at all how I photograph. I then calmed down and thought about what I wanted to do in my style. My thing is natural images of people in their own environments. So I was very happy when Tim opened his front door to his beautiful home in Brighton, I could have shot in any room really. The nerves of photographing someone whom has been previously photographed by 334 other great photographers, I was no.335, all faded away. I had a lovely morning chatting with him in his sitting room whilst he tackled a, what seemed to be near impossible, jigsaw. We chatted about loss, marriage, possessions and Wings! After the shoot came to its natural conclusion he made us some very tasty scrambled eggs, just like the ones my mum used to.

His title for my image is Tranquility, which perfectly sums up our day. Thank you Tim.

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Edgelands – Bleeding London project

I spent this morning finally getting round to properly start shooting for a group project I’m working on. Along with hundreds of other London photographers we are part of a project trying to photography every street in London. Bleeding London: “Inspired by Geoff Nicholson’s Whitbread short-listed novel Bleeding London, in which a character named Stuart London walks the complete length and breadth of London, the project aims to collect at least one photograph from every street in the capital” I’ve joined up with a group concentration on photographing the edges of London, as we felt these parts may be overlooked, my area is around Addington, an area I’d never been to. Being a central London girl born and bred I haven’t spent much time in the burbs, they have always seemed to me a rather odd and uninviting place. If you can get over the city centre centric thinking it’s actually quite nice there, not somewhere I ever wish to live but there are real gems, like turning a corner and discovering a field of ponies, or a beautiful church, though luckily it was a beautiful sunny day today, if it hadn’t been I think my view may have been quite different. Here with a few of the first images, more to follow soon.

 

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The floods.

I’ve just spent the weekend surrounded by flood water in Gloucestershire, it’s quite some sight, much more amazing than you get from seeing it on the news. The water is both imposing and incredibly calming at the same time. Standing above the fields upon fields full of water, you hear the beautiful noise of moving water at your feet, but you are reminded that nature is ultimately the boss and we really have no control of it now. There was something rather lovely about seeing nature take back the very human possessions; roads, dustbins, goalpost, bossy English signs. It reminds me how small and insignificant humans really are.FLOODS_01 FLOODS_02 FLOODS_03 FLOODS_06 FLOODS_04 FLOODS_05  FLOODS_07 FLOODS_08 FLOODS_09 FLOODS_10 FLOODS_11 FLOODS_13 FLOODS_14 FLOODS_15 FLOODS_16 FLOODS_17