Early Morning Photowalk

Chirton Dene Park

I’ve been resting. Resting for me looks like house and dog sitting for the weekend. It‘a getting up early for dog walks and then doing it again and again for the rest of the day. Getting out and stretching our legs.

Chirton Dene Park

And I’m not complaining. It’s good to be out there greeting the light. Well what little there is. As the fog came in during the night and stayed. Creeping into the daytime too.

Royal Quays Marina

We get into a rhythm Mila and me on our walks. Short lead near roads. Long leads in the park with expansive greens. She knows though to stop and wait while I take pictures of things that take my fancy. That make me slow down, stop and look closer.

There is still so much beauty left for the season. Still so much colour which is even more striking and startling as they cry out from the grey. The fog. The chill.

In the dark with my own sacredness

So I close my eyes. Allow the dark to fill. Feel flaky dust around my ankles and know they are ashes.

Everything has burnt down. To leave fertile ground from which to stand. To rise. But when?

I am indigo. I am not indigo. The stars are not enough. And yet they draw my eyes and heart.

I came close to love reaching from the shadows of a mountainside where women of my family fell.

Memories and pain etched on the skin of my bones, I know what I need and want but I don’t know how or who.

Raw, I cannot dream enough colour to hold me. And yet ripe full of longing, I walk the landscape holding my power with an open heart and listen to the blood rain blooming.

Defining My Focus – Trace Mentorship

Portfolio Review Sample, October 2022

I’m merging myself, self-portraiture, with nature. Self assimilated with nature. I’m exploring my connection with nature through photography( for now!).

I’m exploring the environment and the visibility of Blackwomen within the landscape. Using the photographic image to tell a story. In the process reclaiming the narrative of Blackwomen and nature and photography.

I’m exploring the Blackwoman’s space and visibility in love and in relationship with nature. My audience is the Blackwoman. I want her to enter the space I create through my practice and recognise herself there. I want her feel that she belongs, feel the joy and all the lushness created in that space.

This will be a multidisciplinary experience. This will be a celebration of mixness, hybridity and our bodies in love with nature.

Trace Mentorship Update

Portfolio Review Sample, October 2022

A recent addition to my portfolio has been details about my Trace Mentorship opportunity. This was an applied for opportunity to experience the time and space to focus on my photography through a structured programme with other women over 35 years old.

Through a series of talks, presentations, peer and professional reviews, the aim is to gain confidence, knowledge, exposure and further opportunities to develop our skills and establish our practice.

I haven’t really been able to devote the required time and attention to this programme due to immersing myself within the BALTIC commission, it feels like for most of 2022. With this being complete and installed, back from Washington State, now I have the time to really get to grips with this opportunity.

It started with a portfolio review with three experts. I had the great pleasure and honour of talking one on one with Hettie Judah, Cindy Sissokho and Bindi Vora. And what a tremendous opportunity this was to sit down with them (virtually) and talk about my work, my vision, my mission etc.

Not only were they very positive and supportive about my work, but they also offered inspiration, encouragement, reassurance and permission. Yes from talking to these people within the know, my practice, what I’m doing, or trying to do was recognised and appreciated.

I was given back permission and the confidence to keep doing me. To keep pushing the boundaries, to not place limitations on myself, my practice, or what a photograph can be/ can do.

I’m in a much better place now to expand my way of being, seeing and doing, and continue to bring my mixness, hybridity to what I do. I’m excited to see where this takes me.

I’m enjoying the process as usual and not worrying about the end product. And I’m taking my time, embracing the slow. This feels nourishing and good for my soul.

Photo walk : Come with me to Marden Quarry, Cullercoats.

After Covid in February, I committed to moving my body more in March. I felt tired and sluggish and beat. So I needed to shift my energy. Fast.

One way I committed to this journey was to set myself the task of walking every day. And for some reason it had to be 4 miles a day. I think this roughly worked out as my 10,000 steps a day. Now this is moving from 0 miles to 4 miles overnight. My body wasn’t happy.

What I found soon enough was how much more energy and joy I was experiencing in my day once I got out the door and walked. I walked every where for every conceivable errand and then some days I just walked because I promised myself to do it.

March came and went into April, and I continued the walking. Some days not quite reaching 4 miles while other days far out passing it. I noticed I was walking faster and at first this worried me. I used to think the faster you walked the less you would notice. Not the case.

I noticed the faster I walked the more in tune with my body and surrounding I became. My senses were more alert, colours were brighter, scents were sharper. I was more present. I felt amazing in my body and moment.

When I think I’m not in the moment, not in my body, in my walk then I slow down and start taking photos. I’ve performed photowalks for years now and I’m so pleased to be bringing them back into my practice now.

A Photowalk is just as it says on the tin; you walk and take photos of whatever takes your interest a long the way. I see something first and then stop and then see it again as I take a photo of it. Sharing it here with you, not only brings you along on my walk but also allows me to see whatever it is again and relive the moment, re-engage with my body and memory of the time. It’s a gift that just keeps on giving.

Today, I’ve upped my mileage to 5 miles a day moving forward. Of course I ended up doing far more, over 8 miles, but that won’t happen every day. If someone had told me back in February that you’ll be out every day walking just for the hell of it, I would have laughed as I was feeling pretty rough with and after Covid. But here as I up my time outdoors, living in and through my body, I’m so pleased I made this commitment to myself.

Look out for more Photowalks as the year progresses. I just love the beauty that can be found when I’m open.

National Poetry Month 2022

It’s April!

Happy Poetry Month.

I know March was all about me diving deep into The Healing Properties of the Seas, 2022 Project.

But now it’s April, I’m going to focus on my poetry writing.

April has traditionally seen me taking up the the NaPoWriMo – 30-poems-in-30-days challenge. So why change something if it isn’t broken.

Of course you’ll still be able to get your seas fix on the blog for the rest of 2022. But now I must turn my hand to poetry.

These last few days of March saw me take a much anticipated trip to London. It’s been a time filled with walking and creativity, taking in exhibitions and musicals and nature.

I plan to start off the poem a day practice with a review of the images I’ve taken of the artworks I’ve visited since down in London. So ekphrasis poetry is the order of the month.

Ekphrasis is a device used in poetry or even a type of poetry which takes a piece of artwork as it’s starting point. It involves a detailed description of the work of visual art as inspiration and then who knows where the inspiration will take the writer. But the piece of art was the seed and that recognition is credited usually with the phrase ‘ After such and such.’

I start today and I hope you will join the journey.

Day 8 – My Mother Forbad Us To Walk Backwards

After Anne Carson @carsonbot

The misty fret rolls
in from the North Sea
covering the bay
like a shroud.

There is no silence
when everything changes.
Grief strips the skin
from your body and leaves you raw.

Down along the shoreline
terns are turning and turning.
A question coaxed from your throat,
And this is how we love ourselves?

Onwards. There is so much beauty
in the world which you fail
to notice on a frenzy.
But if you allowed

each breath to be a prayer
you will enter the museum
of God and already
be inside of your body.

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