Thursday, 21 July 2011

ON THE BEACH by Kandy Ackland

ON THE BEACH by Kandy Ackland

Shortly after we moved to Brighton in May 2011, we were on the hunt for certain items of furniture with which to re-clutter our new home. One day, I stopped at a small antique shop in Hove and whilst looking around the store, I noticed some photographs displayed on the wall. They were landscapes which I am not normally drawn to but these had a vibrancy and colour that was very enticing. It appeared that the photos were being exhibited as part of the Brighton Fringe. Anyway, I noted Kandy's name and looked up the work on the internet, liked what I saw and wrote to her. We met in a cafe and she kindly agreed to photograph me and said that she wanted to do it very early in the morning when the tide was out so that she could photograph me in the nude by the old abandoned West Pier.

Well, we discovered that even at 4.30 on a summer morning, the tide rarely goes right out in Brighton but at least it was low tide.  Kandy was assisted by her artist friend Christine and we all got on very well. We tried shots by the old iron stancheons on the beach during which initially I was stationary but Kandy asked me to move so I went into a series of poses similar to those I adopt for my stop motion films. Then we found a small piece of sand and she asked me to walk along this whilst she shot me. I suggested that I ran and and jumped into the air. I loved the resultant images - they captured exactly the experimental mood of the shoot and I liked particularly the washed out, grainy effect which reflected the crispness of the June morning.

Both Kandy and I liked this image because of the enigmatic stretch of my arm seeming to try to clasp and hold on to what energy and strength I still have; making the connection between my wish to control my body and what my body is doing against my will. She is a wonderfully talented artist and I would love to work with her again. She is very composed during the shoot and focused on what she has planned to do but, at the same time, is willing to improvise and collaborate on ideas which can be great fun. Brilliant!

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