Friday, 14 March 2014



I was introduced to Jayne by Joanna Burejza at Gallery 40 in Brighton in October 2012 when I went along to the private view of a group exhibition there which included Joanna's photograph of me. Jayne had pulled the group together for a previous show but hadn't included herself in this show because she was too tied up with working for her MA - so, after being introduced, I must have looked up her work on her website because I commented on her wonderful work on it when I wrote to her a few days later. She replied saying that she was flattered to be asked to photograph me - that never fails to surprise me because I am really flattered that people of Jayne's expertise agree to to my request. Anyway, she also said that she was in the middle of her MA and suggested that we make contact again in six months' time. Now usually such a suggestion results in me forgetting about it all together but, four months later, I wrote to her again saying that six months had almost passed and asking how she was placed. We did arrange a meeting but she had to cancel that because of the death of her Grandmother. There was then quite a long gap which was broken by Jayne this time but it was not until November 2013 that we arranged to meet at The Hayward Gallery to look round the exhibition of photographs by Ana Mendieta and meet we did - at last! And what a great time we had. Not only did we get on like, well like a house burning really fast and bright, but we were also stunned by the other exhibition of work by Dayanita Singh. Her work was beautifully presented and incredibly atmospheric but what made the time so enjoyable was chatting to Jayne about the two exhibitions as we walked around. Normally, I go to these shows on my own and it was such fun to have Jayne there to discuss what we saw. She also told me that she had very recently met someone, fallen head over heels in love with him and got married. 

It was still another five months before we met for the shoot this time down in Brighton. Jane wanted to create the modern equivalent of a Vermeer painting and to capture the stillness of his painting of The Milkmaid and she achieved this very cleverly by using this part of our kitchen as a sort of "set" for the image. I am seen re-enacting an everyday scene of pouring milk onto cereal in a moment of contemporary domestic absorption. (I ate the cereal by the way - yum, yum). Towards the end of the day, Jane came home and said that the mist was outside was magical and she suggested we went down to the beach to see for ourselves. We did but Jayne did not being her camera. However, she took some photographs with her iPhone and they were so good that I almost chose one of those instead but in the end this was the one I liked the most.

I love this project so much because, when I choose a photographer, I never know what he or she is going to be like and yet I always seem to have an enjoyable time with them whatever photograph is produced. Maybe I recognise something in their work which I relate to and so it is very likely that we shall get on. Jayne is a great companion to have at any time and especially when she is taking such wonderful photographs as this. She is intelligent, amusing and thoughtful and she is a romantic and she is now my friend. How good is that? 

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