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9 April 2012
green / red
Topic: divine diptychs


Left: Me
Right: the melody censor

For the latest round of Divine Diptychs, I set the theme of complimentary colours, with myself and Susan selecting green and red.

Though I did trawl my archives looking for something, due to feeling a little uninspired in terms of shooting something new, I decided that I didn't want to submit an image that was the easy "go-to" of plants, and the most "diverse" predominantly green image I had was of a cactus.

With the green dress seen above in mind, I originally thought about shooting self-portraits in it with my matching green tights, but then had the idea of a bouquet of green "flower alternatives", which ended up being some tenderstem broccoli and asparagus.

As I've recently found some nail polish that dries in 40 seconds, so have actually started wearing nail polish again regularly and buying colours that match to my outfits (purple being my favourite so far), I figured I'd track down some green nail polish to complete the image in my head. The nearest I found was aquamarine, so I tweaked the overall image a little to get a more pure green colour (I also gave myself a Photoshop manicure, reapplying the nail polish to my chipped fingernails, as I polished my nails last Sunday night).

I love that Susan expanded upon her original idea by including a "pepper purse" in her image after seeing my image! I love her vibrant colours, and that we both look like we're getting ready for a prom or something, and those shoes!

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 12:47 BST
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11 December 2011
Now Playing: pulp - being followed home
Topic: divine diptychs

Left: rowandevoe
Right: Me

From rowandevoe's Flickr post:

Selkies are Seal Faeries from Irish and Scottish Myth. In the sea, they are seals who swim with their seal sisters, but they also come on land on nights of full moons and transform into women and dance with their seal sisters. This is when men can steal their seal skins to marry them, as they are known to be the best of and most loyal wives, and they go on to have children and a family on land. But, the Selkie woman is always longing for something. If they discover their seal skins, they have the terrible choice of staying with their human families on land, or returning to the sea with the constant call of their seal sisters, which is so much stronger than their mortal family.

I love this story and concept so much, but was really struggling to put together something I felt captured the idea in the vivid way I would have liked.

My full time day job and other distractions have been a real inspiration-killer for me lately, though I'm working on fixing that [which is also the reason I'm posting this so late...]

My image is a montage of a swirling, animal skin-type cloak I borrowed from a friend for a shoot as part of my 365 days series, and a self-portrait from about 2009. I wanted to capture the sense of the sealskin mingled with water. Merle flipped my image to face right-to-left and adjusted the colour a little in this version to make it work more harmoniously with her wonderful, dreamy image.

She also put together two other pairings which I think are also both beautiful, which you can see below.



Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 13:54 GMT
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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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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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12 June 2011
all through the night
Now Playing: cyndi lauper - all through the night
Topic: divine diptychs

all through the night

Left: Lililly
Right: Me

This round, I again had the task of choosing the themes.

Sticking with the musical motif, I decided to select themes inspired by track names on Cyndi Lauper's She's So Unusual album, an old favourite of mine.

I gave myself and Lililly All Through The Night as I figured my chances of being able to sort out an image in the evening after work (or even on the weekend) was more likely.

As it happened, we were all a bit tardy this round, but Lililly and I both went with a double-exposure / long exposure image, conveying a feeling of sleeplessness and restlessness (a concept I'm, unfortunately, far too familiar with).

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 12:48 BST
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16 May 2011
up stairs
Now Playing: michael nyman - up stairs
Topic: divine diptychs

up stairs

This week there are only four of us participating in The Divine Diptych Project, so I took on theme duties since I've been work-free for the month, undertaking an artist residency at Hospitalfield [you know, in case you hadn't noticed...]

I have a tendency to trawl my music collection for titles for my images, and having been looking for a title for another image, decided to work the themes the other way around, where the title of a song would form the theme for each diptych.

Being a fan of Michael Nyman's film scores for The Piano and The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, I went with two of his relatively simple song titles, so as not to make things too hard for us all [I love his more obscure / descriptive titles myself!]

Knowing I was planning to shoot in one of the turrets here, I chose the theme Up Stairs for myself and Sarah. The piece is from the Gattaca soundtrack, and is quite dramatic and suspenseful, which I think fits with the feel of both of our images.

A diptych by the melody censor and the Tiger Moth should be up on the blog for this round later this week.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 16:36 BST
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2 April 2011
Now Playing: pink floyd - comfortably numb
Topic: divine diptychs


This week I jumped back into the fray of the Divine Diptych Project with recent recruit, the Tiger Moth.

Things have been hectic for me lately, with a move halfway across the world, but I was keen to get back into things with the project.

Bee Brady gave tTM and myself the theme 'Reflect', which you would think would be a dead easy theme to work with, but both tTM and myself found ourselves at a bit of a loose end. There were some ideas thrown around, but various constraints worked against those.

In the end, with the forest at her disposal, tTM took a mirror out and produced her wonderful self-portrait above. I love the tones, composition, feel of the image.

I wanted to work more with the 'contemplate' side of the word reflect, whilst still including an image of a reflection. Initially I was concerned that none of the images I was thinking of using would fit with tTM's detailed image, but when I tried this one, taken at the Redland Bay Cemetery in Brisbane, the tones and composition actually seemed to work with her image, for me. I'm still not sure I can explain why!

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 19:27 BST
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19 September 2010
Now Playing: space rocket rehearsal
Topic: divine diptychs


Over: Me
Under: Marico Fayre

I was pleased to be paired with Marico this round, as I've been a fan of the self-portraits she takes in nature since first being introduced to her work whilst working on the second Female Self-Portrait Artists' Support Group (FSPASG) book, In Her Own Image.

Both of us have been experiencing a bit of a lull in inspiration, and the theme of 'black' was actually harder than I had first thought.

Initially I edited a self-portrait from my archives, an outtake from my 365 Days project, which Marico paired with her image above; and though the images worked together quite well, on seeing Marico's self-portrait, I mentioned I'd also been toying with using an image of bushfire-charred trees from the aftermath of Victoria's Black Saturday.

I went back to those images, selected this one as working best with her self-portrait and best with the theme, and after a quick swap of layout suggested by Marico, here we are.

The Divine Diptych Project.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 04:11 BST
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3 August 2010
Now Playing: nine inch nails - gave up
Topic: divine diptychs


Top: Me
Bottom: The Melody Censor

Quite appropriately for week 13 of the Divine Diptych Project I was paired with The Melody Censor for the theme of superstition.

Though we didn't discuss the theme or our images at all beforehand, it turns out we both view most superstitions with a fair bit of skepticism and amusement, so treated this as a fun project.

I had wanted to come up with something much stronger as my image, as I'd previously entertained the thought of doing a series depicting various superstitions, but again, life sort of got in the way.

I love TMC's distorted, wide-eyed image and I love that it appears she is responding in fright to the freaky look on my kitty's face.

You should really follow the link above to check out The Melody Censor's work. She is on her fourth(!) year of the 365 Days Project and regularly wows me with her ability to create alternately beautifully simple and elaborately processed self-portraits.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 02:02 BST
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17 July 2010
Now Playing: the glove - tightrope
Topic: divine diptychs


Over: Lena
Under: Me

It's been a few weeks since I've been involved in the Divine Diptych Project. As a collective we decided to make it more of a fortnightly than weekly thing, but even then with all the other things going on, myself and Heather both missed the boat in the last round. And this round, myself and Lena were running a little behind schedule again.

But, we did manage to pull it together and complete our diptych with the theme 'Parallel', set by Sarah.

Lena chose to explore the parallel lives aspect of the theme, and I think she captured it beautifully. I have been pretty flat out with trying to get fit, shooting the Abbey Medieval Festival all last weekend, and various other things, so I trawled through my backlog of unedited images and found one I took with a spare Nikon Lensbaby Mel Brackstone let me play with.

Having already seen Lena's image, I wanted to find something that worked with it, but kept it as the focal point, because I loved her double exposure and felt something too detailed would make the pairing too overwhelming.

You can keep up with all the Divine Diptychs on the blog.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 04:04 BST
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