The Archive: Alice; Not All There

The Archive: Alice; Not All There

Was it a dream? Was it a hallucination? Whatever it was, Alice wasn’t really there (I’m pretty sure Wonderland isn’t a real place, all the rabbit holes I’ve explored just ended in dirt), so with that main theme in mind, I embarked on a very self indulgent set of prehistoric selfies and amazing in camera double exposures.

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Somehow this concluded the work for the Alice project. I’m not sure what happened, the sketchbook just ends, but I have a box of prints and negatives including a few undeveloped rolls?!? I know a breakup happened, and as we know, at 17, that’s massive. Though looking back, I was totally the proverbial dick – so to that guy, I’m sorry. There is an evaluation in the sketch book though and the next one is for exam prep (exciting times coming up!) so that’s probably a factor.

Though the project fizzled out, it’s still one of my best bodies of work, maybe not technically, but because of the size of it and the sincere intent to make pieces that have substance. At this point I glanced the idea that photography could be art, that photography is art.

I still have to remind myself that. In this day and age where photography has become such an enormous umbrella, it’s hard to remember that Art is one of it’s segments. Especially when it’s easy to be bombarded by the photography of social media, where the images are mainly scantily clad women, for no other sake than provocative. And for a long time I hitched myself onto that, and the goal became flimsy and self seeking. It wasn’t why I started photography. I lost sight of what I wanted from the medium. That in it’s self was very dramatic.

There’s nothing wrong with shooting nudes, and there’s nothing wrong with the proactive media (as long as it’s all consensual, well managed and all parties are transparent in their motives). I like making beautiful images of women. It can be really empowering in the right context, but for me, it’s not substantial and it’s one dimensional. It’s not really what I want to do, to be known for.

I’m still working on what my “thing” is. I’m not rushing it, and that’s okay. At the moment my heath (which is rats at the moment) needs my focus and more importantly, my daughter. She’s the best.

Okay, so that’s the Alice project done. Coming up next is exam prep and final pieces. It’s more exciting that it sounds! There’s fire!!!

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Flowers and the Afterlife

Flowers and the Afterlife

 

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Throughout the years, my faith has been shattered, but I still hope there is an afterlife and that the way to it is traversing the universe. Sometimes I dream of the massive expanse, the scale of the planets and formations of the stars. I wake up feeling at peace.

Perhaps when we go back to the earth, we then go to the heavens, causing it to expand. I hope so. Either way, I wish that when I’m gone, my ashes are mingled into the nebulae, and I can join the celestial spheres.

More at Cargo//JemmaBannocks

Models: Myself, Jodie & Aemelia Fox

The Archive: Alice; Food

The Archive: Alice; Food

“Even when I have time,” he wrote to Mrs. Mayhew (December 19, 1878), “I always decline luncheons. I have no appetite for a meal at that time, and you’ll perhaps sympathise with my dislike for sitting to watch others eat and drink.”*

I really don’t think you have to know much about Lewis Carroll, aka Charles Dodgson, to know that there’s some food issues going on. Basic comprehension of the Alice books will tell you. Sweets declaring “Eat me!” and unmarked bottles imploring Alice to “Drink me!”, (which she does, because she’s all about the sensible) both causing temperamental changes in size. It’s clear that food is a prominent theme and it would have been daft not to photograph that idea, and it was a great excuse to buy many bags of sweets even though I only needed one in the end….. The sugar crash was well worth it.

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Not too keen on eating himself, but always made sure other’s ate, especially his young friends:

“Could you give… the 3 girls… something to eat before we go? To be very hungry lessens ones enjoyment of a play.”*

23851332614_d02de7e56a_bPerhaps the diet of biscuits throughout the year was to make space for his birthday treat!

“And what do you think I am going to have as my birthday treat?” Charles wrote. “A whole plum-pudding! It is to be about the size for four people to eat: and I shall eat it in my room, all by myself! The Doctor said he is “afraid I shall be ill”; but I simply say ‘Nonsense!'”  *

I’m not a dietitian, or a nutritionist, but I’m pretty sure that’s not a healthy approach to food.

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Please don’t make any difference, for me, in your family bill or fare. Dinner parties have too many courses for me. Even our daily High Table is much more than I care for.”*

I think it’s pretty clear that Dodgson/Carroll had some complex food issues, maybe not so much due to body issues, but control. Some believed it was stemmed from neurosis, to be honest, I don’t know enough about the man to comment why, but there is a control issue here. And even in just the context of the Alice stories, food is a negative; the unstable changes in size, A Queen willing to behead people for stealing some tarts (though Jam tarts are awesome, I would be a bit pissed too), that whole incident with the pepper and a baby turning into a pig. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t put Wonderland in the Michelin Guide.

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Whatever the reason for the food motifs, I hope you enjoyed the amazing use of selective colour and wild developing skills! Truly at the height of innovation here.

Bon Appetit!

ps. Hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year full of tasty treats!

*Quotes from Lewis Carroll: A Biography by By Morton N Cohen

 

The Archive: Alice; The White Rabbit & Pals

The Archive: Alice; The White Rabbit & Pals

Before I start, I need to thank my Father for making this happen. Without his patience, and importantly, his car, we wouldn’t have been able to get to the location. I think it took about six return trips to get us all there and back again. Thanks Dad.

I also need to thank Sylvia and Bernard Holmes, who allowed me to bring a bunch of hoodlums to their home and run amok in their garden. Thank you.

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So, as we all know, The White Rabbit is a key character in Alice’s adventures. Without him running around like a lunatic, she probably wouldn’t have got into such a pickle. Though, is she hadn’t been such a nosy little madam, helping herself to everything and breaking into houses, that too, might have saved her some trouble. But the rabbit was a tardy bunny and Alice was entitled, so the adventure began.

 

Capturing Alice’s insatiable need to get The White Rabbit was a challenge for my 17yo self. In the end I decided, that if I was Alice, and eventually caught up to the Rabbit, I’d be so pissed that he never answered me, I’d smash his face in.

Originally I thought about getting a dead rabbit and having Alice hold it, in a triumphant sort of way, but it was vetoed as I couldn’t expect Kate (Alice), who was only about 10, to happily do so. I was also a bit daunted by the prospect and it just made me think of my long dead pet rabbit, Pebbles. It was too emotional.

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All the actors (my mates and sister’s mates), except the iconic Alice, were loosely styled to represent their character. I decided that I didn’t want it to be too “Disney” and twee. And without a budget to go avant garde, it could have easily ended up as such. So I left it to my expert story telling photo skills to do the talking.

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The Caterpillar talks…

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Not all there….

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Dumb Dee Dum

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And finally; Alice’s complete disregard of the “rules” leads her to a life of vandalism and crime…

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These images are just the ones that made it into my book. There’s countless test prints, unused images and experiments, which I still have, all piled into a box. I hate to think how many trees were cut down to facilitate this.

And this isn’t even the end of the project.

I do drop the heavy Alice stylising and go a bit more conceptual, with a nod to the books, which you’ll see.

That’s it for this year, I hope everyone has a lovely Christmas and New Year. When I return I will be bringing a selfie game so strong it makes the Jenners look weak as wafer ham. For reals.

Anyway, in the mean time you can keep up with me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, links to which can be found round the blog.

Jeux Noel!