|THE ONE by Giulia Zucchetti|
On 14th June 2012, something rather special happened. I was walking around the University of Westminster Photography Degree Show at the Truman Brewery Building in Brick Lane and I turned a corner and there before me was the display of work by one of the students called Giulia Zucchetti. It literally took my breath away. Not only was it one of the best collections of work by a final year student that I had ever seen but some of the images were as good as I had seen anywhere. There was quite a crowd around the photographs and Giulia was in great demand but I managed a very quick word and said how impressed I was. Therefore, can you imagine how pleased I was that she answered my email and agreed to photograph me? I shall tell how pleased I was - I was VERY pleased!
We met a week later in Liverpool Street and chatted about the shoot and she showed me some of her work and I showed her a lot of the photographs from my project on her laptop and we talked so much that the time flew by. We were together just over an hour but it was long enough for me to understand why the exhibition of her work at the Degree Show was so good - it was because not only is she is very talented but also she is a hard working and totally committed photographic artist.
We set a date for the shoot in July and, in the meantime, Giulia wrote suggesting a new idea. She had thought about what she termed "the wonderful inner journey" I had started once I had left my former job. I had taken off my clothes and shaken away the dust to start a new life. Therefore, she said that she would love to present this metaphorical passage of my life by photographing me naked and immersed in colourful (pink maybe?) smoke as a visual symbol of my spiritual rebirth. I thought it was a great idea.
The shoot took place in a studio in Harringay on 22nd July 2012, a lovely day because the sun was shining and the shoot was marvellous fun. Giulia was assisted by a fellow Italian, a very nice guy called Mattia, and we started off with me being clothed and then topless and then naked for the remainder of the shoot. Giulia had brought quite a few different coloured powders with her and initially Mattia threw the powder over me and we used a fan to whip up a cloud of coloured dust and eventually, as far as I can recall, me and the floor were covered by a dark pinky brown mass of powder as the colours mixed together. Not exactly what was envisaged but it worked because look at this final image which out of a number of excellent pictures, Giulia nominated as ''THE ONE'' - hence the title. As the shoot came to an end, Giulia moved closer and closer and clicked away as I improvised and adopted one different pose after another until the final triumphant click of the shutter and we each looked the other in the eye and laughed. A coming together of two people from different countries, different ages and walks of life but with one aim - to produce a great photograph. Bingo!
When Giulia sent me THE ONE, she signed off her email with ''Love and sunshine''. That is what she is like - sunshine. I am glad to have met and worked with her at the start of what I am certain will be a glittering career.