I’ve been working really hard these past couple of weeks, but have been left with a strange feeling of having nothing concrete to show for it. It’s a temporary thing, but it feels slightly odd to be sitting here, preparing to write a blog post without any images of the past fortnight’s intensive period of activity. Traditionally, for me – after hours of setting up and placing the various objects I work with – the exciting part is downloading the photos of finished pieces. The images are often the work, the part I post on Facebook, Twitter and my website, indicators of what I’m up to creatively.
Right now, I don’t have any images – and that’s despite an intensive morning with my photographer friend, John last week, followed by a further vigorous day on Thursday with film maker, Henrietta Thomas. It feels strange not to have any images to hand, precisely because the work I’ve been involved in has been all about cameras and focus, filming and lighting – getting the best possible shots and angles and so on; working collaboratively has meant being very involved in that process.
So, I’ve done the work, but at this moment in time, while my collaborators have access to the work we jointly created, I have nothing to prove it – and that feels weird! I’m confident that there will be some strong images coming, but if there’s a downside to working collaboratively, it’s not having control over when you can have access to the work that’s been made!
And so, it’s a case of sitting back and waiting patiently, hoping upon hope that the photographs and the film turn out well and that I’ll be able to progress with the next stage of my work around the ballerina theme. From what I’ve seen of both Henri and John’s work so far, I’m pretty confident that everything will be fine, but I’m very reliant on them, I realise. You have nobody but yourself to rely on when you’re working independently – working alone, I wouldn’t need to be waiting on other people getting back to me in the way I am right now. But working alone would also mean that I’d have none of the really useful and welcome imput and suggestions I’ve had from my collaborative partners over these past few weeks. I know which I prefer and it’s now a question of keeping on being patient.
In the meantime, there’s still a stack of 1970s Diana, Bunty, Judy and Princess annuals on my living room floor, stacked up by the sofa. I’m continuing to dip into them, revisiting the various adventure stories, absorbing myself in the common fantasy of so many young girls growing up in 1960/70s Britain – to be a ballerina.