|"MY BRAIN HURTS!" by Hayley Wroe|
"My Brain Hurts!" is a line from a Monty Python sketch and it was a sort of Monty Python mood which Hayley wanted to engender in the shoot which took place in one of the studios in the wonderful Photography department at Bournemouth University where Hayley was just about to complete her final year.
I had met Hayley when she assisted on the shoot with Ellie Hones about a month before. I looked at her work online which was excellent but it was her idea to film me whilst I was adopting various disguises that clinched it. Hayley met me at the station and then drove me to the University. Once we were there, she showed me various false moustaches, lips and hats on sticks and asked me to improvise with them whilst she filmed it on her camera. It was great fun and certainly Hayley thought it was amusing as she seemed to giggle a lot - either that or I looked like a complete idiot but then that was the whole idea. Well, the idea as originally explained by Hayley was for her to film me making different expressions which captured the emotions which I experienced on a day to day basis.
Once we finished the film (which is to be made available shortly), Hayley then asked me to stand still and make different expressions with and without props whilst she took still photographs. Of the final shots which Hayley sent me, I chose this one for serious reasons. My brain has never hurt but it has caused a bit of mayhem in the Andrews household. In many ways, the effect of Parkinson's disease has been enormous, particularly when one throws early retirement into the mix. Suddenly, the usual routines disappeared and, instead of my wife having a nice quiet house all to herself for five days a week, there I was dominating everything from the use of the computer to the conversation and, at the same time, charging off like a maniac to photographic shoots. She did not know whether she was coming or going and believe me, if you think you are coming but then realise that you are going, it does your head in. Similar problems persist if you think you are going but, in fact, you are coming. Not that I was actually visualising such thoughts as I changed expression in front of Hayley's camera but they must have had some influence.
So, that was that. Hayley returned me to the station and the train returned me home. A while later, I received these images each of which I could have chosen to represent Hayley in the project but, in the end, I plumped for this one. It is part of me - some things in life are bad and they really make me sad and other things just really make me swear and curse. But mostly, I find that I look on the bright side of life.