Thursday, 19 July 2012

WHAT IS LIFE...BUT BEAUTY? by Robert Ormerod

WHAT IS LIFE...BUT BEAUTY? by Robert Ormerod
When I went up to Edinburgh in July 2012, I asked the photographers whom I was going to see if they knew of anyone else who might wish to photograph me. Gavin Evans replied telling me about Robert's work which at that time was on display at Gavin's gallery at the Institute. I looked up his work on the Web and liked it immensely and so I wrote my usual email to him. He replied saying that he thought he had heard of my project already and would be pleased to work with me.

We arranged to meet in Edinburgh on 18th July which must have been the wettest day of the year or any year come to that. Luckily, I had a small easily collapsible umbrella to keep dry as the rain teemed down as I waited for Robert to pick me up in his motor car. At last, he arrived and we introduced ourselves and went off in search of a suitable location. He had something in mind already but it was in the open and so went in search of another building which he had passed. We found it and went to ask the people in the shop below if we could use their first floor for taking photographs but they checked with their landlord and the and the answer was no - fortunately. Fortunately because we drove on and screeched to a halt outside an old building which some builders were working on. Robert nipped out of the car and into the building and made some enquiries and came back to say the builders were cool with us taking some pictures. It was a magnificent Victorian building which was to be totally refurbished and used as a school. We found a great staircase with a beautiful light coming through the glass roof and we settled in that area for about an hour and a bit. Then we moved to another area which was much darker but very atmospheric.

What struck me about Robert is that he was totally focused on what he was doing and was very considered and careful to set the shot up exactly as he wanted it. And just look at the result. The light, the tone, the colour, my pose -  all were carefully thought through before the defining moment when he clicked the shutter. This is such a gentle, beautiful photograph which echoes those taken by Emma Tunbridge but this was a different time and place and a different mind at work.

Every time I look at this image, I just feel as if my eyes are plunging into something ethereal and pure and are invigorated and calmed at the same time. It is a gorgeous image. I was so pleased when  I saw it for the first time and said so to Robert. The Beauty of which I speak in the title is not mine necessarily but Robert's -  he has found beauty in the scrubby walls of a derelict building, in the face and hands of an ordinary guy and in the thoughts of that person. Life is beautiful if you open your mind to see. It is everywhere. It is in you and it is in me. Isn't that so wonderful?


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