Two tintypes by Matt McCosh. A few people have said one of these in particular doesn’t look much like me, and I agree to an extent – but these techniques are always mysterious and unpredictable, and that’s one of the things I love about them. It’s so exciting waiting to see the images appear – a real mixture of magic and alchemy. I should be modelling for Matt a third time soon.
Below is a poem I wrote after the first shoot we did a few months ago, before this latest shoot; there is something so deliciously forensic about these photographic processes. (I have actually written quite a few poems loosely based on art, photography and the experience of being a ‘muse’, two of which I read at the Woodstock Poetry Festival recently. I’m working on a collection. I actually really want to show people more of this work, especially those who are involved in this world… but I write and model under different names and I’m unsure at the moment of how to meld those two worlds together. It’s something I’m thinking about quite a bit and finding a bit difficult.)
Bee found dead on windowsill. Placed small vase of lilies next to it.
Considered it, upside down, through concertina camera.
Stamped it into perpetuity with early obscura replica.
A field view (portraiture):
gallic acid, acetic acid; silver nitrate, potassium iodide
become silver iodide and potassium nitrate
on cotton paper from Japan.
7 changes of water.
Next: exciting the paper. (Dilute solutions.)
Load into camera.
20 sec exposure average.
Woman’s torso pushed into vines.
Calotype. Beautiful impression.
Disposable pipettes and shot glasses in night’s red light beam;
rubbish bag. Nothing is reused
for fear of contamination. Everything can go wrong
Honour thy error as a hidden intention.
silver nitrate and gallic acid applied
with cotton wool in a criss-cross pattern.
If it works, future deviation will be
(Image appears: a ghost. Hair like fog.)
Bucket of water to pour over and slosh
Bookshelf: William Henry Fox Talbot
Sally Mann, Francesca Woodman,
Wet plates, cyanotype,
Pin hole, Diana,