Monday, 23 August 2010

Childhood Memories . .

As some will know, as well as being an artist/crafter, I'm also a photographer and a dreamer. At times I wish I could be anywhere but indoors. Fortunately for me, having my camera to hand means I can adventure anywhere I want, create something less than ordinary, and escape.

I enjoy planning my photos, I want them to tell a story, not only to me, but to others who enjoy looking. If there is no writing to accompany an image, it's simply because I want the viewer to interpret it in their own way. By doing this it allows the images to become personal to not only me, but to those viewing them also.

I wanted to show two of my favourite self portraits to date. They were taken as a set, and based around the theme 'Play'. I could have gone anywhere with this theme, but I was going through a particularly tough time with work and life in general, and so I wanted to escape into another world, and go back to a different time when things were easier, safer, where at the end of the day I was tucked-up into my bed, I'd dream about pretty things and wake up in the morning and play with my big sister before breakfast.

Thus, these images are all about revisiting childhood.

Part 1, The Adventure
9/52 Play - (part 1, The Adventure)

Part 2, The Hunter
9/52 Play - (part 2, The Hunter)

A lot of my childhood is unfortunately a big bundle of blurryness for one reason or another, but I do remember staying at Holly & Abi's house with my big sister.

In the winters, we used to make radio shows on the cassette recorder, or write our own songs and record them, then play them in fast forward by half pressing the play button so we sounded like mice. Other times we'd make up dance or gymnastic routines to perform to 'the adults'. I remember performing chumbawumba - tubthumping once, much to the dismay of 'the adults' who had to sit and watch with pretend smiles across their faces whilst we jumped around on chairs singing and dancing to such a hideously irritating yet catchy song.

In the summer we would play outside and climb trees, race up and down the footpath in a home made go-kart made out of an old pram, make perfume with rose petals and mud pies out of.. mud. Go for bike rides or walks and picnics, we used to make arrows on the ground out of sticks and rocks and then have the others come and find us! We'd make hide-outs with traps incase we ever had any unwanted visitors!
We'd run around in bracken that towered over our heads. We once went for a walk around the grounds of an old victorian hospital, the hospital was long gone but there was debris everywhere. My sister found an old tin bath, whilst I collected glass bottles and medicine jars.

I remember going on holiday to Devon once, to stay at 'cow poo cottage'. We made a film on the old video camera about a ghost girl who had emerged from the graveyard one day and it was our job to figure out the mystery of why. Apparently she was called Betsy. I can't remember why she was there, but the video still exists and I can't wait to watch it one day!

My sister and I spent a lot of time at our Gran and Grandad's house with our cousin Sam, making camps out of windbreaks and blankets and then spending all day in there, or playing in Sam's tree house, going for long walks or bombing down the lane on the chopper forgetting it had no brakes until it was too late!

Going camping, digging up pignuts, rockpooling, crabbing, playing, walking, collecting. Grazed knees, secret hide-outs, climbing trees, bumped heads, snow angels, mucky clothes, carefree, imagination.


I took all of these memories, and thought about how I wanted to remember them.

Childhood is all about make believe. That's why it's so magical.

I held that thought, raided my spare room for some bits & pieces, put on my "once upon a time" necklace, and went to my Dad and Step Ma's garden where I found a tree that my Sister and I used the climb. I decorated it with bird cages, lace, ribbon, string and doilies and sat down for a while to think - If I was 7 again, what would I do here?

It was then that I spied my trusty steed right in front of me, and we would hunt. I fetched my bow and arrow, and we played in the sunshine all day.

After hours of galloping across the land, we came across a strange being. It spoke to us in a quiet whisper, we didn't understand what it was saying.. but we had an urge to capture it. So we ran, and hid behind the tree, I placed my one and only arrow in my bow and pulled it back.. but I just couldn't do it. Just as I was about to retract my arrow and put my bow down to make peace with the being, my trusty steed nudged my arm and alas.. the being was no more.

Both images create my story. My adventure, and how it ended.

Why don't you take half an hour out of your schedual some day and remember the fun times? ♥

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