Thursday, 9 April 2009

Happy Easter

I love Easter. It means kiteflying season in Trinidad, gorgeous weather (usually) and a chance to think about rebirth and renewal.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Hello House

This is my new space. It's very close to my old home but has a very different feel. The Cascade valley is like many other valleys in the northern range. Big basins of green that catch the trade winds and swoop them down towards the hot city. I am surrounded by large mahogany trees, a sapodilla populated by swooping bats, and a large breadfruit tree. Cascade has its own spirit. My red sealing wax palm has made the transition with little ado. A bit of sulking and drooping but generally he has rallied and seems to be thriving in his new home. Sealing wax palms are quite difficult to come by and grow extremely slowly and that's why this poor palm had to pack up his whole root ball and trudge across the valley with me.

My baskets are also happyWhich makes me happy. This house does not seem to be larger than my old home but it actually has more flat land. The soil is better as well and I hope to be able to do quite a bit of propogating while I am here so that I can return everything to the garden in At Ann's when I move back.
Isobel had never lived in the shadow of a mahogany tree. It stood tall, reaching towards the sky with a sense of purpose that gave off resinous clicks as it stretched its branches over the house. In the evening, the tree turned its leaves to catch the dry season breeze that rode down the valley on the cool trade winds. If she listened from the kitchen, Isobel could hear the tiny pops as the tree released its cocoa-shaped pods, setting free the little helicopter-spirals that took root in the crevices below the mango tree. Each morning she collected the spent husks where they lay curled like tiny sculptures on the sloping lawn that ran to the edge of the driveway.
That's what I wrote when I moved here.
I think the house has good creative energy.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Death Masks

The concept of a death mask intrigues me.
We take photography's sheer immediacy for granted.
Without photography, art, or various other forms of self expression, images would live only in memory. Preserved images are a form of immortality. I don't know if death masks were viewed as a form of artistic expression as they served the purpose of documenting and preserving.
Many tribal people are still deeply suspicious of cameras and will react violently if they realise that someone is photographing them. Many believe that you steal a bit of someone's soul with each image.
I photographed these images at the Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum in Manhattan over Christmas.
Believe it, or not.
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Goodbye House

We have moved out to renovate the house. It's strange to look back at this photo because the mango tree has been gone for some time now. What I am struggling with at the moment is saving the plants that are living through the renovation. By and large we have left most of the beds and our temporary space is a big large garden.
The sealing wax palm moved with me and when we are ready to go home, it will come home with me again.

The upside of all of this is that I get to start all over again in many areas. The garden has been surprisingly resilient and many things are blooming (even though I know that this is a sign of stress) and there are areas that still look lovely.
The house will never look like this again and that is kind of sad, but she was a bit like an ageing dowager, badly in need of an overhaul. She looked good at a distance but close up the cracks were beginning to show - literally so.
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