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scrawl
20 August 2011
oh hai
Now Playing: fiona bevan - us and the darkness
Topic: life

untitled #10


Though I've been posting bits and pieces here and there, it seems like ages since I have updated properly.

Things have been generally pretty good with me of late. Work is work, that's probably the dullest part of my life of late.

Apart from that, as posted previously, I've been wandering around the UK and Europe since I arrived in London just over 7 months ago now. Specifically Eastbourne, Arbroath and surrounds, Brighton, Paris, and visiting new haunts and re-visiting old haunts. This coming weekend, over the Summer Bank Holiday break, I will be heading up to Edinburgh to visit some friends and possibly sneak in some festival treats.

This last is thanks to a recent visitor from Australia, Sarah Jansen, who kindly donated her return ticket to Edinburgh to me :o)

Speaking of which, she and I and another Sarah also enjoyed some fantastic live music recently: Fiona Bevan, Mika Doo, Cara Sebastian, Vashti and Joseph Stokes at Zigfrid von Underbelly in Hoxton Square.

I'm hoping to catch up with more live music over the coming months, including another dose of Sarah Nixey and a long overdue catch-up with CW Stoneking.

Recently I also managed to make time and get up the cajones to finally visit Pimps and Pinups to get my locks cut, which I'd been meaning to do since late last year (I'd done a small trim in October or so, but wanted it mid-length for Arbroath, so hadn't gone the whole hack I'd intended).

We have a new housemate moving in any day, and unfortunately "lost" our lovely Angeline & James recently, though they're only about 10 minutes away.

As you may be able to tell from the above photograph, I'm greatly diminished these days. I'm down to about 4-5kg from my goal weight, which is awesome. I'd like to say it just fell off, but it has involved a lot of dedication to the free gym at my work and trying to eat at least moderately better (though I've managed it without cutting out alcohol completely, which is reassuring).

Creatively there have been some nice bits of news recently:

Four of my images were included in the re-launch issue of twohundredby200 magazine for iPad and MagCloud.

'Creeper' was included in issue #112 of Shots Magazine

The latest installment of i see a pattern forming is now online.

And I have still been participating in The Divine Diptych Project, for which there will be a new round of images hitting the site from early September.

Thankfully, although the recent rioting in London was somewhat nearby, especially on the first night, it had little impact on me. Sad to see the damage done to a city I am falling further in love with each day though.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 22:20 BST
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7 August 2011
nightmares
Now Playing: cocorosie - werewolf
Topic: divine diptychs

nightmares


Left: Me
Right: Pia

This round of The Divine Diptych Project, Pia and I were paired for the first time, and given the theme 'Nightmares' by geekgirly.

Those who have followed me for a while, will know I dream very vividly, and have quite bizarre dreams. Animals, especially strange ones, or animals behaving strangely, have featured in my dreams regularly over the years, but lately I've been having even more dreams and nightmares that have featured animals.

So when deciding what I wanted to do for this theme, something involving an animal was the obvious choice. The carousel in the square below Montmartre, re-visited on a recent trip to Paris, provided the perfect subject: a creepy, startled, angry-looking horse, which I've processed to bring out the colours to give that vivid, high intensity feeling I often experience in dreams.

I really like how Pia's choice of image of a Venetian mask reiterates the sinister feeling of exaggeration, artificiality, and creepiness. That mask hanging in a dark hallway, lit by the moonlight, would definitely give me nightmares!

For those who might be interested, here's a list of bizarre animals that have featured in my dreams over the years, in no particular order:

* a little black piglet that swelled when he got hot, and had to be splashed with, or submerged in, water to "deflate"
* a wolf with claws piercing deep into my back
* blue ants with whistles for tails
* an embryonic sheep with two heads emerging from a shattered eggshell
* dancing with a polar bear and a grizzly bear
* a praying mantis fighting against the pull of a vacuum
* standing still to try to trick a crocodile that I wasn't there
* a live platypus looking more like something made in a woodwork class
* a room full of animals, one of each kind
* a small, vicious kitten using nerves in my back as marionette strings
* two small, white, fluffy puppies, one called Lindsay, that's fur turned a dirty colour when they needed to pee, but returned to bright white when they had finished urinating
* small white termites or worms crawling in and out of holes in the back of a living girl's head
* poisoning a discarded cat by feeding it sultanas, which whilst not poisoned, cause it to convulse, though it continues to seek out more sultanas
* a large gorilla lifting a large cabinet onto a couch and balancing it there whilst he rummaged through the drawers
* a colony of ants feasting on a bag of raw bacon lying on the grass
* a kitten licking the pages of a small book, making an image of a landscape appear on the paper
* a Dachshund singing "I'm your rubby-tummy-baby" to me, as I scratched its belly
* the suggestion of leaping onto the shells of small tortoises that grew in size as they moved across a yard, as though the tortoises were makeshift roller skates
* tar-coated seals along the roadside as a marathon took place

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 01:03 BST
Updated: 7 August 2011 01:13 BST
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31 July 2011
this is sarah nixey talking
Now Playing: sarah nixey - the collector
Topic: gig photography

sarah nixey & kevin cormack #8


Toward the start of July, I had the chance to see Sarah Nixey play live a second time, having seen her for the first time performing upstairs at The Enterprise in Camden in late May.

Though AAA, the space downstairs from Archangel in South Kensington, wasn't an ideal set-up for watching bands if other patrons aren't there to see the bands, or are only there to see one band and are disrespectful toward the other bands (which was unfortunately the case that night), I was pleased to have brought my camera when I saw the stage was well-lit and predominantly with blue light (red light is great for ambiance, but terrible for photography; and too many smaller pub / club venues in Melbourne treat lighting as an afterthought, often not even aiming it at the stage).

Once the chatter died down and some inconsiderate punters not interested in the music moved out of the way, it was a very enjoyable gig.

I'm pleased to be able to see performers of Sarah's calibre in much more intimate settings than you'd have the chance to see them in Australia (if, indeed you'd have the chance to see her over there). I was also lucky enough to chat with her at both performances: a very lovely lady.

I'm looking forward to getting out and about to see more live music in future.

sarah nixey #26

sarah nixey & kevin cormack #44

sarah nixey #5152

untitled #10

sarah nixey #14

sarah nixey #2831

sarah nixey & kevin cormack #20

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 23:37 BST
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20 July 2011
work is the curse of the drinking classes
Now Playing: the dead milkmen - beach party vietnam
Topic: sepulchre

oscar wilde


I returned to London today after spending a few days in Paris with Victoria, a friend from Australia who was in my hemisphere all too briefly, and who invited me to join her in Paris in an apartment overlooking Parmentier Metropolitain station.

We spent about 2.5 days together wandering around Paris. Our first stop, on our first afternoon there, being Pere Lachaise cemetery. Though I have been to Paris twice before: the first time with my family on a "round the world" holiday in 1991/92; the second on a "team building" day out with my work colleagues in 2001, I hadn't yet had a chance to visit this icon of cemeteries.

My obsession with cemeteries began only a few short weeks after my first visit to Paris. My family and I went on a tour of one of the major cemeteries in New Orleans and I fell in love. I would have to hunt through records to confirm 100% which cemetery it was, but it was majestic, full of mausoleums (above ground burial is compulsory in New Orleans because of the swampland), and full of history.

On my second visit to Paris, with co-workers, I didn't feel comfortable asking if we could wander amongst the dead so I could take photos, though we did wander freely through Pigalle (admittedly in the "downtime" of daylight hours).

So when Victoria sent me details of the apartment she had booked, the home of an American musician who was back home on holidays, and I saw it was near Pere Lachaise Cemetery, I was pleased to find she was as keen as I was to visit this fantastic cemetery.

Visiting there during intermittent rain on Sunday afternoon, we wandered amongst the elaborate mausoleums and statues, and even met a "local", a lovely man with the surname Papillon who was visiting his late wife and showed us her grave.

We both managed to get numerous photographs of various resting places in the cemetery; and we decided to forgo visiting Jim Morrison, but dropped in to see Oscar Wilde on our way out.

The few days we spent in Paris were really enjoyable: wandering around the city without getting too caught up in the tourist fray. Apart from Pere Lachaise Cemetery, the closest we got to tourist spots was Montmartre's Place du Tertre and Basilique du Sacre Coeur, both of which I'd visited before.

I found the Metro quite easy to navigate (especially with the assistance of an app on my iPhone), and actually felt much less daunted by the city than I expected, even with my limited knowledge of the French language (I recognise far more words in written form than I would ever understand spoken to me!)

One of the highlights of our trip was totally fortuitous: we had bypassed a cafe in the Marais area after quailing at the sight of the line for the free Impressionist exhibition at Hotel de Ville, and stumbled into Le Pick-Clops, a cafe down a side street, to grab a hot chocolate and a tea out of the rain, on Tuesday. Speaking broken French to the waitress, I was embarrassed to realise she was actually American, but she was very helpful with suggestions of places to wile away our rainy day, including Jeu de Paume where we were exposed to the self-portraiture of Claude Cahun.

The only downside to the trip is the amount of weight I may have put back on from indulging in copious amounts of cheese and bread and wine. Even with all that walking, I possibly overdid it!

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 23:15 BST
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10 July 2011
100 people - #19: Peter
Now Playing: my hyde & the jeckyls - you may have horses in your eyes, but you're no fuckin' cowboy
Topic: 100 people

peter hyde


I can't remember the specifics, but Pete and I met back in early July 1978. I was about 14 months old; he was fresh from my mother's womb and had a hole in his heart.

I'm sure we got on fine initially, though our friendship has been a bit up and down over the years. You know, the usual sibling competition and quarreling. I remember lots of horse bites and duck bites, and fights for the television remote, and pinning each other to the floor (usually these things were related).

I remember Pete knocking on my door with eerie regularity almost every afternoon when I was in primary school and early high school, asking what I was doing, to which I usually responded "Homework!" and closed the door on him. At the time I found it irritating and responded accordingly. Later I realised it was just that he wanted to hang out. I guess I found this kind of foreign as I was used to doing so many things alone: reading, writing, playing piano, etc.

Back then he always seemed to get away with everything, being the youngest and all. For example, if he didn't clean his bedroom, even after being grounded and flaunting that punishment, Mum would do it. He was always cuddling up to Mum and won her over with his affection.

These days he's a bit of an enigma to all of our family. He goes off and does awesome things, and then we find out afterward when he decides to let us in on what he's been up to: his record label, his bands, his travels (where I am drawn to the UK, he is drawn to the US, and he seems to spend about 3 months there most years).

He's been in numerous bands over the years: H*A*W* (depending on who you talked to, this was an acronym for Hippies Against Whaling, Hairy Axe Wound, etc., etc); Mr Hyde & The Jeckyls, Whitehorse, Occult Blood and Collapsed Toilet Vietnam. He also posts photographs to Never Nothing.

About the only thing he doesn't seem to do these days (which I miss) is paint or draw. He has the painting and drawing skills that I've never had, and jealously wish he'd use more.

Where Rob used to introduce me to his friends as "my little sister", Pete would tower over me and introduce me as his "big sister". Still most people who meet all three of us together don't believe we are siblings.

Though all of us Hyde kids have reddish hair in some lights (whether head or beard hair), Pete has killer genetics when it comes to facial hair and for years has chopped and changed between styles. He would grow a full beard (often down to mid-chest length), then trim to a goatee, or a 'chin curtain' (what I refer to as a 'reverend beard'), mutton chops, or what Pete affectionately terms a "wife-swapper" (somewhere between a trucker moustache and a porn star moustache, in my estimation).

The night I took this photo, the night before I left Melbourne on my road trip with Phil Ivens, he and the lass in the background of this portrait were playing distortion pedals in the open mike night at Bar Open's Make It Up Club, on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy.

Last week he turned 33.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 22:53 BST
Updated: 10 July 2011 23:02 BST
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4 July 2011
100 people - #18: Philip
Now Playing: black box recorder - start as you mean to go on
Topic: 100 people

philip


Philip and I met in London in early 2001 when we both wound up working for the same company: a small photographic library which used to produce and manage product and lifestyle photography for Sony, Motorola and Argos.

Over mountains of invoices, we realised we had similar taste in music and films, and we both have a keen interest in photography.

Luckily for Phil (though, arguably, not at the time), he was only at the company on a temporary basis, and returned to Warwick after a few months; but we kept in touch on and off whilst I continued to work there until I left to return to Australia.

After I left the UK, we lost contact somewhat, but then came back in contact around late 2003 when Phil found me on Myspace.

Since then we've stayed in regular contact, our main topic of conversations remaining the same: photography, art, film, music, travel. We have quite different styles and preferences in regard to photography (Phil likes his verticals vertical and his contrast low; I have no quarrel with converging lines, and (mostly) like my contrast high); and drinking (he doesn't; I do); and sugar (he doesn't like sugar in anything; I can't drink tea without it), but we seem to get along well enough anyway.

Again, this portrait was taken at the Boiler Room Bar at Abbotsford Convent. I have some other portraits of Phil taking tea with a kookaburra that took a shine to us on our cabin verandah, but I'm not sure I'll get permission to post those!

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 00:42 BST
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3 July 2011
100 people - #17: Vicky
Now Playing: howard jones - look mama
Topic: 100 people

vicky


Another of Becky's housemates, this portrait of Vicky was also taken at the Boiler Room Bar, before dinner at Lentil As Anything at the Abbotsford Convent.

I have another image where Vicky is more relaxed and with an open-mouthed smile, and has less of the appearance of an obedient child being told to sit up straight in class, but I chose this one because you can see her bright blue eyes, which really stood out to me.

After taking these snaps as we sat around talking, I took a bunch of shots of the four girls (Becky, Alex, Vicky, and Jess (not included in this project)) together, at their request. They had an easy repartee going on between them, evidence of their long-standing friendships.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 23:23 BST
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100 people - #16: Alex
Now Playing: bonnie 'prince' billy - a minor place
Topic: 100 people

alex


From 22nd March to 8th April 2010, I went on a road trip with Philip Ivens, (victim... I mean, subject... #18 in this project), flying from Brisbane to Melbourne, where we spent the first few days, then driving north through the eastern states (and territory) of Australia back to Brisbane.

In Melbourne we met up with a former work colleague of Phil's, Becky, (#20 of my 100 people project) and she and her housemates were good enough to put us up for the two nights.

Alex was one of Becky's housemates and, I believe, undertaking a hairdressing course at the time. Apparently she is now in New Zealand, and rumour has it, working in a brewery.

This was taken on our second night in Melbourne whilst having a pre-dinner beverage at the Boiler Room Bar at Abbotsford Convent, after Phil and I had spent a couple of hours wandering the grounds taking photos.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 22:41 BST
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100 people - #15: Matthew
Now Playing: the cure - friday i'm in love
Topic: 100 people

matthew


Matt laid down the law to me quite a few years back about how I introduce him to people. That I was to introduce him as my friend, which he is, but that there was no need for the habitual back story.

So, I'll skip the explanation, and simply say that he and I have known each other a long time. Since I was an 18 year old in my first year of college, and he was 23 and working on the IT helpdesk at the now defunct record store chain that was Brashs. We met on the Collision dancefloor when I had blue ponytails and his hair was longer than mine. If I recall correctly, he was wearing his "lucky shirt".

Since then, he returned to university and, in his doggedly determined way, got himself a degree, and then proceeded to succeed within IT to where he is at today; via a stint living in London, and with a good side order of geekery and fascination with all things technological.

He (and his cohorts) introduced me to many things over the years: the joys of "Sammy madness" (black Sambuca shots) and pre-drink drinks; that if you were drunk and you don't remember it, it didn't happen; that dyslexics can code, it just takes a little longer; and further encouraged my love of The Cure.

It was Matt who first introduced me to the internet, and then seemed surprised when he came back eight hours later to find me still seated at his desk, in my pyjamas, not having eaten and possibly only having moved from my place to use the toilet.

Despite our quite different temperaments and sensibilities (he is excessively ordered, clean and tidy; outside of work, I believe in a filing system that is perhaps only perceptible to me), we share a love for indie music, dancing, drinking, loyalty, and talking to ourselves (though Matt is the only person I know who talks to himself more than I do, and only because he talks in his sleep). Those things are probably why we've managed to stay friends so long, irrespective of distance and long breaks between drinking sessions.

I took this two days before I moved from Melbourne to Brisbane, when Matt was good enough to let me crash at his for my last three weeks.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 19:31 BST
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100 people - #13 & #14: Jessica & Michael
Now Playing: laura jean - the hunter's ode
Topic: 100 people

jessica & michael


From memory, Jessica Tremp, or more specifically, her exquisite photography, was brought to my attention through a mutual friend, artist Paul Ruiz. At Paul's suggestion, I perused her work on RedBubble and instantly fell in love with it, as Paul suspected I would.

Once again, like James and Jo (#11 and #12 in my 100 people project), Jess and I finally met in person at an opening at Brunswick Street Gallery.

I then met, Michael, now her husband, at James and Jo's wedding, where this was taken. The two seemed like a perfect match and were living in a cute green cottage in Collingwood at the time. (Well, cute if you ignored the mini power station that appeared to take up the property behind their place!)

Michael is the guitarist and a vocalist with Melbourne bands, The Vandas and Gruntbucket, and along with Jessica herself, appears in many of Jessica's beautiful, dreamlike photographs.

Hopefully at some point Jess and I will be in the same place at the same time again, as I would still love to collaborate with her.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 17:57 BST
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