There are moments that stay with you forever. There are meetings that stay with you forever. The most intense, and influential of these have happened on two workshops that I've participated in; no doubt stimulated by the needle like probing into the psyche of a certain tutor who has guest posted on this site.
One of these was Winterlight 2009 at Wedderburn with Tony Bridge – meeting Ferg and Dave, and our wild chase around the landscape of the Maniototo to capture a cloud incinerating itself into the evening sky. Understanding that the huge energy that hit me down there and sparked such enjoyment of the workshop was stimulation of the creative mind in a magnificent landscape. Reflection also showed me that was also the discovery of a “me” that I'd allowed to get buried beneath the Jenny Daughter, Jenny Mother, Jenny Sister, employee, cook, cleaner and bottle washer. I had the environment in which to focus solely on me and what I was doing. The freedom I felt was incredibly energising.
Heading into the Ureweras for the Innerlight workshops with Tony was even more creatively challenging. A location, environment, culture and tutor that asked one to dig deep. Very deep. And out of that the answers began to come. The culmination of these workshops in Te Urewera each year is an exhibition – a fitting closure. This mixed media work is the first I made from the Innerlight Workshops – and remains my favourite. The coloured tiles were printed on Ilford Gold Fibre Silk and positively glowed, floated above the graphic text below. It so perfectly encapsulates my feelings at the time; explained in the words following.
“A sense of awareness that so much more surrounds us than meets the eye, a feeling of glimpsing into this world but not being able to see clearly was the essence of this journey into the Ureweras for me and the work I have made. I was listening to an old radio, full of static, just getting a clear word now and again. In one moment the static cleared and I could really see; the vision was like quicksilver – changing by the second and almost impossible to hold onto.
The work you see here tells my story in text, as I heard it, and visually documents the fleeting changes in the landscape literally second by second. The tiled exposures were made from the same viewpoint over a period of only a few minutes. Then it was gone.”