|ELOQUENCE by Tess Hurrell|
I was standing around at Fabrica Gallery in Brighton during the Private View of a show by Joan Alexander and a person with a familiar face approached me and said, gently, "Hi Tim, it's Tess". Immediately, I made the connection with the rather demure woman who had photographed me in her studio in Tottenham, North London a few years ago. I was very pleased to see her again and we slipped into an easy conversation in which she told me that she was now based in Brighton. I had asked her soon after that first shoot if she might be interested in a second and she had said that she would but time had passed and I had not raised it with her again but I remembered that it was an outstanding issue and was pleased that she reacted positively when I wrote to her subsequently and repeated the request.
She asked me to wear normal clothes when I came to her studio and it was there when she explained that she wanted to photograph my hands. She intended to use a film camera and and to double expose the shots. She directed me quite specifically but I was also keen to infuse some emotion into the shapes she requested I adopt. I feel that she captured this emotion beautifully and she liked particularly the tension between the two hands. Added to all this was the fact that my right hand is slightly misshapen due to the contraction of Polio in 1958 which, luckily, only affected a muscle in my right thumb which weakened it and stunted its growth as a consequence of which my hands are totally different shapes and sizes making an interesting contrast in the photographs.
I was fascinated by what Tess had captured in a short period of time and thought long and hard about which image to include as her second in my project. I decided on this image because it had the emotion, the tension and the shapes all of which combined to create a fascinating picture which says a lot about me and also about Tess. The image represents the care with which she approaches her work, and the intelligent thought which she brings to it as well as the gentleness of her demeanour which the tone of the photograph reveals. It is an image borne of grace and dedication, an understanding of her subject and the skill of an experienced practitioner of photographic art.