Sunday, April 30, 2017

Return To Self

I set up the tripod at the edge of my neighbour's pool, flipped the timer on my digital camera and walked to the deep end. I dove in as the shutter sounded and swam the length underwater. Surfaced, stepped out of the pool, checked the shot. Repeated the process. Over and over. Some photographs are of me mid air, others are of the splash as my body entered the water.

Dripping wet, I carried the tripod (with camera still attached) to the backyard of my mother's house. There, I stripped off my bikini, flipped the timer on my camera and lay on a plastic banana lounge in front of overgrown trees, a raised vegetable garden bed and oversized pots of herbs. I let myself linger in the midday sun, got up to re-set the timer again, lay down slowly – repeating the succession of movements until they formed a rhythm.

I wasn't thinking of composition or light or what might make a good photograph. I thought about using my body as a life model for painting again; of movements I want to draw; of capturing the moments when I am relaxed and unselfconscious, in motion or sunbathing naked alone in the afternoons; of David Hockney's photo collages and swimming pool paintings and the way time is captured differently in photographs and paintings. Then I turned the camera off and lay down again, focussing only on the sensation of warmth and water evaporating from my bare skin.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Focussing only on the sensation of warmth and water evaporating from the bare skin is a great meditation. I do it often, during the summer, on my little lake in the big cornfield. ;-)

-M

Hazel Dooney said...

Hi M,

I don't remember the last time I did it. It felt so peaceful – as I imagine it is at the little lake in your cornfield :-)

Take care,

H

Anonymous said...

I would like to see more of the pics from this photo shoot.
Just Sayin' :-)

-M

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Dave said...

I enjoy the pressure of the summer sun on my skin in the oppressive 90% humidity we get where I'm from. It makes me feel alive. I've always felt strange saying it though. I didn't think many other people got it.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't resist commenting. Perfectly written!