A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Freckled Devon Cream
Sunday, August 07, 2016




With few exceptions when I locate in some long forgotten box a photograph I took a long time ago I recognize it as my own. This is different when I look at something I have written in the past. I re-read the stuff and it seems alien as if someone else wrote it.

Just a few days ago I re-published this blog. I was struck by this very Borgesian content:

It is hot today and I hope it persists a few more days. I can take Rosemary’s nagging to position the sprinkler. The heat simply makes me understand that in the past one never thinks that the precise moment of that present will one day be a memory, even a nostalgic memory.

I live the memories of the past in this present while the present quickly recedes into a past to make fresh new ones for tomorrow.

Today I found a box with medium format transparencies of dancers I photographed in the early 80s. There is one photograph of a dancer that was called Topaz but if you knew her well you could address her as Fleen (her real name was Kathleen). I gave her my own name. To me she was Miss Mew. Often while walking the short distance from the Number 5 Orange on a Saturday to a punk concert at the Carnegie Library on Main and Hastings (it was not the scene that it is today) I would walk behind Miss Mew who during an in-between period between her dances, she too would go to a D.O.A. or a Subhuman concert as I was.

In fact you could easily categorize at the time two types of dancers. One, Miss Mew who danced to the music of Lou Reed, and the rest, who didn’t.

My co-ecdysiast interested (fans!) friends could not understand my preference for Miss Mew. They liked the voluptuous ones with big chests and raunchy acts. Miss Mew and her Lou Reed did not move much on stage. It was the eye contact and skin like Devon cream that did it for me. And to top it all she had a Lauren Bacall type of smoky voice.

Miss Mew is doing well these days and I often spy something she may have posted on facebook.

But I realize that those memories that I have of her are as I wrote in that blog:

I live the memories of the past in this present while the present quickly recedes into a past to make fresh new ones for tomorrow.

And when I look at the Ektachrome transparency of Miss Mew I realize that I could never take an equivalent photograph now (of anybody) in the same way. I could never (or could I ?) in this 21st century go up to some woman and say, “You have a glorious chest. Could I take some photographs of you?”

The time is past for all that. All I can do is savour the memories and once more gaze at that glorious chest.

Photographers my age would comment,  "Alex you used a burst of blue gel on that background!" In those days we especially used those blue gels for backgrounds involving businessmen in the high tech industry.  Business magazines demanded that "high tech (blue) look." To me blue represented the outward demeanour, cold, of Miss Mew that hid a warmth and friendliness that was inside. And it was only a few years later when I saw her in the light of day at our table at the Railway Club that her face had always been covered by delightful freckles.






     

Previous Posts
Chris Dahl a Nagging Art Director - From Complexit...

Le tournesol, le tournesol

Where have the Penns, Avedons, Sterns, Halsmans, &...

Mel Hurtig - 24 June 1932 – 3 August 2016

The Smell of Paint in a Studio

The Found Card & the Process of Remembering

I'm Done

retractare

Reinterpretation

Reversed Special Effects



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10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16