Monday, 16 March 2015

SINKING 1 by Elissa Jane Diver

SINKING 1 by Elissa Jane Diver
(Direct Positive Silver Gelatin Paper. Unique print, 5 x 4in)

Sometimes, I sink under the weight of irrational thoughts and fears, and I write about them. Rarely, if ever, do I read them again but if I do, I hardly recognise myself; by then I have moved on and the action or words or rather, paranoia, which caused the mental aberration have slid away. It is the act of writing which helps me deal with the situation - the words are not significant. I file these pieces in a folder under the title "Sinking" and, when I was searching for a title for the final images produced by Elissa, "Sinking" seemed apposite. I do sink from time to time but it doesn't last long and eventually I emerge from the darkness. 

Elissa Jane Diver must be one of the most committed artists I have encountered during this project. She will not stop until she has produced the image which satisfies her, until she has been able to fully express her feelings about the subject.We met after our initial introduction by email and we talked at length about her ideas

We arranged the first shoot on the beach very early one morning. Elissa set up her camera on a tripod on the end of a stone groyne leading into the sea. Unfortunately, the groyne was also occupied by a fisherman and, as I was going to be naked, I felt I ought to ask if he minded if we took some photographs. ''Yeah, I do'' he replied rather gruffly. I told Elissa and she moved her camera off the groyne and onto the pebbles. I walked into the sea and waited for her to take the photograph which she did. She was intending to take more but, by this time, our angler friend had packed up all his kit and I saw him approach Elissa as he began to engage her in an unwanted conversation, the duration of which continued to lengthen until I felt I had no option but to come out of the sea. The guy turned out to be quite personable in a quietly weird sort of way but the spell was broken and Elissa and I agreed to abandon the shoot. 

I felt responsible because I had effectively asked his permission to take the photographs although afterwards I did think that perhaps he thought I might have been asking if we could photograph him and that was why he minded. I apologised to Elissa and she said that it was a strange shoot but she didn't see it as my fault that it didn't go to plan. She explained that the way she looked at things was that if they don't go to plan, it is for a reason and this led her on to thinking that maybe it was a sign that she should have followed her original instinct to photograph me emerging from/merging into the darkness. She felt now that was what she would like to do. 

I had no idea how wonderful those images would turn out.


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