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scrawl
15 October 2011
getting to grips
Now Playing: tom waits - ruby's arms
Topic: self-portraiture

getting to grips

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 16:10 BST
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how to be invisible
Now Playing: will oldham - drinking woman
Topic: self-portraiture

how to be invisible

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 16:04 BST
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strange bedfellows
Now Playing: nine inch nails - head like a hole
Topic: self-portraiture

strange bedfellows

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 16:01 BST
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8 October 2011
living on the edge
Now Playing: madonna - like a virgin
Topic: road trip 2010

living on the edge


I realised a few years ago, when standing on the bench in my bedroom to paint the higher sections of the wall, that I'm not specifically afraid of heights. I'm afraid of falling.

Therefore, one metre off the ground I can go into panic mode.

Walking down a spiral staircase I manoeuvred my way up without thought suddenly becomes a job undertaken in a crab-like posture (just ask my ex about such experiences in La Sagrada Familias and Caernarvon Castle).

An attempt to venture onto The Balconies in the Grampians National Park had me experiencing vertigo - feeling as though everything below was moving and whirling, and I had to drop to the ground to feel like I wouldn't fall off the edge.

So I ventured as far as I could with Phil and Aaron at Shady Rest. They walked to and stood at the furthest edge of the property at that point. I had to stop short from nausea. The best I could manage was to photograph them standing there, as though they were waiting for a bus, or an elevator, or something equally innocuous that doesn't involve falling to their death.

It sounds dramatic to say that, but every second day on the stairs in my house I almost over-balance from this fear of falling. I almost did today.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 20:40 BST
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2 October 2011
park royal
Now Playing: bat for lashes - trophy
Topic: london

untitled #78

untitled #82

untitled #79

untitled #80

untitled #81

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 18:13 BST
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27 September 2011
memory
Now Playing: simple minds - don't you (forget about me)
Topic: divine diptychs

memory

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

mel


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

aaron


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

catherine


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
clutch
Now Playing: bjork - aeroplane
Topic: self-portraiture

clutch


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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