Tuesday, 8 February 2011
Running up that hill
Although I didn't consciously plan two separate halves in my behind-the-camera shoot with Caitlin (see part one here), I realised once I was looking through the photos that the six outfits naturally fell into two categories. These three outfits seem to have a distinctly Wuthering Heights/ Kate Bush-esque feel, along with the original Helena Bonham Carter inspiration. In fact, at one point I asked Caitlin to pretend to be Cathy (lace skirts always make me want to wander over moors crying "Heathcliff!"), which resulted in an improvised monologue she recited whilst running around the field. However, I think for me, these photos just evoke recollections of Kate Bush's music.
While I was in hospital, recovering from surgery, I listened endlessly to Kate Bush’s album ‘Hounds of Love’ - it allowed me to rise above the pain. Her lyrics, like a current, would dredge my heavy body up from the riverbed of pain and buoy me towards the surface. Music allowed me half hour ‘floats’ where the hurt was underneath me.
Whenever I hear that music it strengthens the memories by instantly pulling me back into that white room. (I was running up that hill, and dreaming of sheep...) Now the tracks are comforting - a mix of wanting to cry and smile. Somehow they remind me both of great wildness, but also of a safe cocoon of recovery time, with the autumn leaves falling past the windows of the hospital building.
The first outfit (and my personal favourite) is comprised of a vintage fifties velvet and taffeta dress (used to belong to my mum), a 'ruff' necklace I made out of some patterned tissue paper, and a child's Laura Ashley boater from a charity shop. The shoes are also thrifted, and the vintage leopard print gloves were given to me by my paternal grandma.
The second outfit is made up of an eighties monsoon raw silk dress with a vintage blazer (from a market stall) belted over it, cinched in with a second hand belt.
For the third ensemble, I put together a charity shopped lace skirt with a vintage silk jersey shirt that belonged to my great-grandma. The blue top underneath is Caitlin's (we had to improvise, as she nearly caught hypothermia in the wind!), the gold belt was given to me and the vintage necklace was a gift from my lovely grandma Babi - it used to belong to her.
The final shot was taken next to some ponies who appeared out of nowhere - Caitlin says she now wants to visit them regularly, bearing horsey gift snacks! Oh & Don't you think she has a very Carey Mulligan look about her in some of the shots? (Particularly the first).
Going back to the music idea, I find that songs can be incredibly evocative. I can almost categorise the last few years through the range of albums found on my iPod! Amy Macdonald reminds me of my first modelling trip, Beth Jeans Houghton (another fabulous eccentric to add to the list) brings back memories of recovering at home, and Massive Attack take me back to the Big Chill music festival. Do you have a particular song or artist that immediately transport you to a different place and time?