I am hoping it will be more of an occurrence.
I say it frequently but I miss writing here and generally being here. Amongst people I like and friends.
Times are changing for fashion, out with the old.
I’m not so keen on the words ‘retro’ or ‘vintage’ or anything that is considered twee in that nature. In fact, I have tried to actively avoid it in favour of a postmodern approach. Teaming my work with very clean design and something I would consider a ‘colder’ look in order to shake the tag of vintage. I bring this up as it is in fact a bone of contention for me right now. I had a spat with an editor of a very well-known magazine in the UK who until now had always championed my work but last week called me ‘vintage’ (in a negative way). For the record we never got on well personally as I shouted at him once but he had until now supported my work, maybe because he deemed it ‘on trend’. I took umbrage at his recent comment as it is... well... (Believe it or not) not something I am striving for. Perhaps I have failed in that respect because I can see why he says it, of course.
My techniques are old. They are old and seeped in historical references, but I had made a conscious effort to maintain modernity and it seemed those labours were overlooked, by him anyway. But I am constantly reminded in this industry that people are fickle, and more often than not (there are many exceptions) many are waiting for the next big thing to be introduced to them in the form of a badly researched and fascistic article bought to them by some fashion journalist or other. Articles full of catchall phrases and sweeping generalisations, telling those who are waiting what they should be thinking next.
Ok, if I sound bitter, that’s because I am, I’m sick of it.
I should move on...
As for my absence, I have a new studio; at last, it is something tangible. It’s very small and I only just got carpet but it’s coming along. The darkroom is complete and it’s a working space I can leave messy, a place of progress that I can expand in. I will post some images of my space soon and of the darkroom too. I imagine it may be a lomography article but I will keep you posted.
So the images here, these I made based on a mantra I have been holding on to. ‘Safe Safe Safe’, a term that crops up in a poem by my beloved Virginia Woolf. Something that reminds me that I am loved and that I love. A notion I cling to, that my home is endlessly important to me. The magnets inside me leave me clinging to these walls. I fear losing everything but long after I am gone these walls will carry that beat. My pulse. ‘Safe Safe Safe’.
Modelling here is Maxine and her boyfriend Chris, an inspiring couple who defy all expectations. It was so long ago that I shot this but so far in the front of my mind still. Next month I have a shoot with Maxine for a hair stylist’s salon. I look forward to it very much as working with her is unlike any work I have ever encountered or ever likely to.
Chris Richardson, Maxine Anastasia Neale