Wednesday, 6 March 2013

FUNNY PECULIAR by Helene Roberts and Tiff Oben

FUNNY PECULIAR by Helene Roberts and Tiff Oben

On 15th August 2009, I appeared on the Fourth Plinth as one of 2,400 people chosen by ballot as part of Anthony Gormley's "One and Other" concept. I think that many of the 'plinthers' felt a strong affinity with each other - I did certainly - and watched and supported others who appeared on the plinth. One of my fellow plinthers was Tiff Oben whom I discovered was a photographer. I told her about my project and she agreed to photograph me which she did in Cardiff in 2009. At the same time, I met her friend and colleague, Kim Fielding, but was not able meet her longtime collaborator, Helene Roberts, as she was away at the time. However, I envisaged returning to Cardiff one day so that we could both work together with Helene. And this happened on 6th March 2013.

The first shoot with Tiff had taken place in a mock seedy Victorian Hotel and this time we intended to continue on that theme using another installation built by Tiff and Helene. However, for some reason that I have forgotten, that was not possible and so we decided to use my real hotel room which had a certain seediness about it. I brought some props and that is how I ended up sitting on a bed wearing a clown's mask and false moustache and ready to go! Helene shot on a fish eye lens and we took shots in the bedroom and the bathroom, some clothed and some nude.

The results were extremely interesting with the fish eye emphasising the voyeuristic tone and the props, the clown mask, the false moustache and the black gloves adding to overall creepy feel to the whole thing. This is my favourite shot from that shoot. I like particularly the contrast of my serious facial expression with the daft silhouette of my wig on the wall behind me.  One watches and wonders.

Helene was a delight to work with and it was lovely to be involved with Tiff again. They were up for trying anything and invested each shot with their own quirky sense of fun but at the same time, they treated the whole shoot very seriously and clearly enjoy working together. I have to say that I love working with people (like Tiff and Helene) with whom I feel I can express myself freely both in the poses and in contributing ideas as the shoot progresses.

Great fun.


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