Aja in Mark Budgen's TubSaturday, October 06, 2018
|Aja in Mark Budgen's tub|
A bathtub in Spanish is a tad more complex. In Mexico you have tinas de baño but in my native Buenos Aires it is called a bañadera. In Spain they opt for bañera.
In my youth in Buenos Aires there were some roofless tourist buses that were call bañaderas. I never had the opportunity to ride in one. The classic Buenos Aires bañaderas had curved sides so that they indeed resemble fat tubs.
From the moment I arrived in with my family in Vancouver I started taking photographs of women in tubs. Obviously there was no reason to have them clothed in them. Because of that and especially when the tubs had no water the resulting photographs would not meet the cautious standard of my blog or pass muster with social media.
It was in the late 90s that one of my first gallery showings had 13 different women posing (with water) in tubs.
But I think that these photographs of Aja (she pronounced her name Asia) were really the first ones where the idea gelled in my head. I had met Aja on Wrech beach were I took some photographs of her. But later on I found out that she was a friend of my now departed friend, writer Mark Budgen. I do not remember the exact circumstances but I photographed Aja in Budgen’s tub.
When people are alive you sometime do not ask them questions that you later regret not having asked. I regret now that I never did ask Aja or Budgen what her surname is.
One of the delights to taking photographs of people is to be able to photograph them more than once and especially when years have flown by.
For me the bathtub is a place for reflection and thought. It is a place to read the NY Times editorials. Unlike Jorge Luís Borges who liked his tub baths in the morning. I do not find inspiration (in the morning, that is!) to figure out if the previous evening’s dreams are worth pursuing for a story or, as would be in my case, to use that dream as a direction for a photograph.