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27 September 2011
Now Playing: simple minds - don't you (forget about me)
Topic: divine diptychs


There is nothing new except what has been forgotten. - Marie Antoinette

Over: Bee Brady
Under: Me

Bee Brady and I were paired for the first time in this round of The Divine Diptych Project, and Marico Fayre distributed some lovely and inspiring quotes for us to work with in creating our images.

Attributed to Marie Antoinette, the phrase kept circling through my mind as I was shooting a series of self-portraits in the bathroom at my friends' apartment in Edinburgh last month.

The memory aspect hinted at by the quote played a part in my thoughts, but for me it also spoke of the repeating cycles that we go through in life. The way that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Or that perhaps the more you think things have changed, that you have changed, that often you find yourself back in the same place, a place you have tried to avoid and steer clear of for so long, but before you realise it you are falling back into.

Though both of our images are somewhat overwhelming in terms of detail and objects in the images, I feel it suits the theme, as memory is like that: overwhelming, cluttered, complicated and messy. Every time you recall a specific moment or place you remember more or different aspects, and there is often too much to take in to really remember everything as clearly as you'd like to think you do.

I enjoy the various references to memory and nostalgia in Bee's image: the mirrors, the camera, the clock, the candelabra, the vintage items. The sense of reflection and angles, and being submerged in the moment.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 20:36 BST
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20 September 2011
100 people - #23: Mel
Now Playing: lou rhodes - this love
Topic: 100 people


As is often the case, I don't remember the exact particulars of virtually meeting Mel Brackstone and first coming across her work, but as we mixed in the same RedBubble circles, it was inevitable that we would meet.

Her photography initially centred around landscapes (particularly seascapes), but over the years has expanded to incorporate humans and the human body, both those of her friends and models, and herself.

When I moved to Brisbane we organised to meet one day: myself, Mel, Kelly and one of Kelly's friends. After an early morning wander with Kelly around Redland Bay, the day was primarily spent sifting through op shops in Carindale, then lunch; after which myself and Mel adjourned to an abandoned property soon expected to be demolished near Eight Mile Plains, where I took le moribund, and Mel had previously taken this portrait.

On another occasion Mel and I met to shoot in her mother's house, which was being put on the market for sale, where I took this portrait of her with a Lensbaby Mel let me try out on my D50.

In all my dealings with Mel, I've found her to be extremely generous with her knowledge and happy to help others, and as equally voracious in her enthusiasm to learn more. She's always keen to learn how a new technique, a new piece of equipment, a new processing trick will help her achieve what she is after conceptually.

I always enjoy seeing what new avenue her work has taken, though I may now spend a lot less time around The Bubble than I have in times past.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 23:34 BST
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19 September 2011
100 people - #22: Aaron
Topic: 100 people


Where Catherine is a whirlwind of thoughts, words, movement, her boyfriend Aaron is often the quiet observer sitting by listening to what is being said, and occasionally interjecting.

From time to time he will take control of the conversation and speak animatedly about a particular subject or situation, but most of the time he's just content to be.

He and Catherine were both heavily involved in building the large kit home on Aaron's family's property in Wombeyan Caves, that overlooks an amazing view over an area at the base of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.

He was keen to show us around the property - the site of the old home, the waterfalls, and the edge of the property overhanging the valley. I was not so keen on the latter two, involving extreme heights, so settled for the first.

I snapped Aaron contemplating the view whilst we relaxed with a few drinks one afternoon after some exploring.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 14:54 BST
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18 September 2011
100 people - #21: Catherine
Now Playing: r.e.m. - be mine
Topic: 100 people


I met Catherine in year 10 when I moved to Stawell and started at the local high school. We hit it off pretty much straight away.

She was pretty, intelligent, articulate, a talented illustrator and photographer, very into music and a very good friend. Over the years, very little has changed.

Despite our respective movements around Australia (both of us) and the UK (me), and the odd loss of contact here and there, we have managed to keep our friendship alive.

We were always willing subjects for each others' various assignments; I acted in her TAFE black & white 16mm film (which I wish I had been able to see!); she let me drape her in chains and seaweed (on separate occasions).

We have both been supportive and encouraging of each others' art, whether it be visual or literary.

During my road trip with Philip Ivens through the eastern states of Australia, we were lucky enough to arrange to meet Catherine and her partner, Aaron, to spend a long Easter weekend on Aaron's family's property, Shady Rest, in Wombeyan Caves at the base of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.

The time spent there was a great opportunity for me to catch up with Catherine and Aaron, but also turned out to be a very inspiring one, with the old home site at my disposal to shoot self-portraits and other photographs amongst what was left of the previous home. I felt very spoilt.

During my time there, I only managed to snap a few shots of Catherine. She is animated to the point that finding a moment of calm in her is often impossible. Her mind and her body move at a rate of knots most of the time.

And though usually I would avoid shots like these; shots where someone is playing up to the camera, and specifically dropping into a defensive stance - the single finger salute taking centre stage - I think this actually sums up Catherine quite well in some respects.

She is done with the niceties of life. She doesn't really care too much what you think about her and how she lives her life. She's all about being in the moment and living her life the way she wants to. And she does.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 23:19 BST
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1 September 2011
Now Playing: bjork - aeroplane
Topic: self-portraiture


The imprints of your fingers leave their mark on my neck like a psychologist's ink stains.

I still feel your fingertips, gently but firmly holding me. My neck, my waist. Exploring, investigating, supporting, caressing, teasing.

In the darkness I can imagine they still sear my skin; still seek me out.

That you're not thousands of miles away, and so far from my touch.

Why, sometimes I've imagined as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 01:02 BST
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29 August 2011
an unquiet heart
Now Playing: mika doo - blues in 3 acts
Topic: self-portraiture

an unquiet heart

And when one day Rambert told him that he liked waking up at four in the morning and thinking of his beloved Paris, the doctor guessed easily enough, basing this on his own experience, that that was his favourite time for conjuring up pictures of the woman from whom he now was parted. This was, indeed, the hour when he could feel surest she was wholly his. Till four in the morning one is seldom doing anything and at that hour, even if the night has been a betrayal, one is asleep. Yes, everyone sleeps at that hour, and this is reassuring, since the great longing of an unquiet heart is to possess constantly and consciously the loved one, or failing that, to be able to plunge the loved one, when a time of absence intervenes, into a dreamless sleep timed to last unbroken until the day they meet again.

- Albert Camus - The Plague

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 15:41 BST
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21 August 2011
100 people - #20: Becky
Now Playing: johnny cash - i walk the line
Topic: 100 people

becky daniels #295

I met Becky through Phil. They had worked together (they are both social workers by day) in the UK, and as she was temporarily living in Melbourne, she was kind enough to offer us a place to stay with herself, Alex and Vicky, and accompanied us on the first few days of our road trip up the east coast of Australia.

As she was unable to take much leave at the time, we stayed close to Melbourne to ensure Becky was able to get back to Melbourne at the end of the first weekend of our travels, but as I knew there were so many places worth visiting within day-trip-distance from Melbourne, I was more than okay with this.

Becky is originally from England, but feels a sense of belonging in India and, like myself, generally enjoys traveling extensively. Most of her travel seems to entail immersing herself in the various cultures, contributing to the communities she visits (whether through social work roles, or language teaching), and she is quite spiritual.

Much of the time whilst Phil and I were gallivanting around taking photographs, Becky was just as happy to be chilling out in a quiet nook of wherever we were wandering through, or remaining at our caravan or cabin, in order to write.

She is equal parts introspective and contemplative, and outgoing and up for anything.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 15:41 BST
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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
Now Playing: cocorosie - werewolf
Topic: divine diptychs


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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