1. How reliable are our memories? our thoughts, our feelings? How objective is it possible to be - and can you ever be sure you've not subconsciously tweaked every story, memory or thought so that it better aligns with your ideas of yourself, the situation or the world?
Diaries, notes, photographs are things I have made, hoarded and treasured since a young age. I hold them up as being important and true - but perhaps they're neither.
David Eagleman, the neuroscientist and author, believes that we die three deaths: "When the body cease to function [...], when the body is consigned to the grave [...] and when your name is spoken for the last time." Bill Shapiro, author and collector of other peoples photo's, adds a fourth - the moment the last remaining picture of you is seen for the final time; it's "the humbling, steadying truth that, one day, that's all we'll be: a photo."
Drawers and bookshelves are filled with old notebooks and sketchbooks, but what has value, and what weighs you down?
N.B. read Bill Shapiro 'What We Keep'
2. Health and wellbeing has moved from an individual obsession to being something outside of yourself, something for the common good.
More easily viewed as an act of generosity, rather than selfishness - health and wellbeing has changed scale, zooming out: we are now a body of people rather than just a body.
3. My urge is to preserve things, to set them in aspic.
My parents are moving from our family home, which begs the question: how does one document or capture space?
Architectural photography tends towards the cool, crisp and rigorous - but I want to document something else - the character, beauty and meaning of a space. Space as a holder of memories, experiences, thoughts and feelings.
Whiteread's sombre casts and Hockney's fractured and frantic photographic landscapes both achieve a tolerable level of sentimentality - personal yet universal.
5. Overwhelmed by a sense of embarrassment, 'Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race' forced me to acknowledge beliefs that are untrue and self serving. I am embarrassed at my/the urge to make racism foreign - an acknowledgement that it exists, but somewhere else.
I am embarrassed at how extreme we demand racism to be before we acknowledge it as such; and how rapidly the conversation about race and racism is turned, twisted into a story that focuses on the experience of white people.
A lens through which to view the world, these words mingle with news headlines, with protests, with 12 Years A Slave and with Kara Walker's Fons Americanus. Walker's sculpture borrows its form, its visual language and its cultural baggage from the memorial that sits in front of Buckingham Palace - which I pass dozens of times each month, only occasionally noting how the sunlight warms the gold leaf at its pinnacle, or a particularly unusual tourist photoshoot taking place on the steps below.
What it means, who made it, what and whose story does it tell? - these questions only occurred to me after seeing Walker's iteration, and so I am intrigued by and hopeful about the idea of Revisionist History.
4. 10.07.2020 My sister moved back from Sydney
7. 'Pools of light' reflect and refract light in a pleasingly dimensional way. Neither sparkly nor distracting; pools of light strike a balance between transparency and weightiness, the solid and the liquid - more closely aligned with architecture than decoration or froth.
8. Mother and Child, three ways, Barbara Hepworth
9. Part of the photographic series 'Nordic Signs' by Joakim Eskildsen, this image was captured through a long exposure, on New Years Eve. Whilst the series of images are examples of technical brilliance, there is also a strong sense of the personal; "a hymn to nature and the people who live in it".
10. Paintings, drawings and scribbles by my goddaughter remind me so much of Cy Twombly: a compliment to both parties. The vague relationship to figuration, object and subject means that the work feels dynamic and intuitive. Watching her colouring in, she is so self assured: this is where the purple goes; this corner needs a patch of yellow; this, is finished. I both envy and enjoy her ease with materials, and the confidence in her own vision.
11. Joel Meyerowitz's self-portraits in isolation are a display of strength and vulnerability - humour and rigour.