A few shots from the latest roll of film. Inspired by Brian Ferry, I’ve been trying to get better at photographing the play of light across everyday objects – with mixed results.
There’s a few more shots at my Flickr.
I benefited from a lovely incidence of synchronicity this morning when two discrete sources led me to the work of the American artist Ellsworth Kelly. The image above is one of his ‘Plant Drawings’ – an exhibition of which is currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
While I can only view them on screen, these seem like exquisite, delicate nature studies.
Tablet, a signed, limited edition book featuring many of Kelly’s sketches, collages, studies and unfinished illustrations is available here for 1,000USD. The regular edition for plebs like me can be found here for 50USD (shown below). It receives a glowing recommendation from the illustrator Rosemarie Auberson.
Visionary scriptwriting from 1996.
Looking at these pictures and trying to think of something to write, I was struck by the price printed on the front of Arthur C. Clarke’s The Exploration of Space – 3/6, or three shillings and six pence. (The edition above was printed in 1958 and 3/6 equates to about three pounds today.)
Though decimalisation occurred seven years before I was born, old money was still entwined in the lives of my older relatives. I had never seen or used shillings or crowns but my grandparents referred to them often, usually when reminiscing about their youth, or recalling the travails of rationing.
Most anachronistic, though, was their use of the word ‘bob’. I was only dimly aware of its meaning (a bob was slang for a shilling, and it was always bob, never bobs, no matter how many you were talking about) but I knew it signified money. My grandmother especially was fond of the word: “I expect you’re short of a few bob are you?”, she inquired often, always to be answered in the affirmative. Charmingly, my grandfather’s name was Bob, so when my gran would decide to chuck me a few quid, she’d usually instruct him to give me the money with the words: “Let him have a few bob, Bob.”
The denseness of my associations with a simple pre-decimalisation pricetag seems remarkable to me. Just some numbers printed on an old book, but also a kind of loaded visual signifier, packed with memory. And implicit within those associations now is also the knowledge of my own anachronisms – the eccentricities I will exhibit within my own family. Only these will no doubt seem doubly strange, removed as I am from the bedrock of my own cultural heritage.