CORONAVIRUS Please be aware that due to the current situation we may be unable to post your prints for several weeks but will keep you fully informed. Contact us if you wish to discuss.
It was 1994, I had been photographing tulips for ten years. It had been decided by Zelda Cheatle that the work should be published in book form later in the year.
I was preparing work for the book and also making new work. I felt that despite the intensity and variety of the work I had made that something was missing, an element needed to complete the narrative, but what? I was unable to decide.Then one morning I went into the room I was using as my morning studio ( I have never had, nor felt the need for, a dedicated, a ‘proper' studio). Working with daylight I follow the light, working in any space in my home where the light beckons). On the table edge was a tulip leaf and a hammer, why the hammer? I can’t remember.I decided to make a photograph, of the space, the print on the wall, the table, the variety of materials that I used in my images.
When the resulting print was made (Studio Table no.1) I realized that this was the key to the missing element I had been seeking. The tulips were fresh, pristine. If I continued to photograph as the year advanced the tulips would wither and decay. Here was my narrative, I continued to make images including tape, a spirit level, my spectacles, a spray bottle. All the tools that contributed to the making of a still life.
In the book (‘The Stilled Gaze’) each section of studio still life is introduced with a 'Studio Table’ image. The tulips deteriorating as the series progressed,and showing the materials and tools which are a necessary element in the production of the final staged image.