The pandemic has meant that the post has been 3 or 4 weeks late. I had forgotten about the email my second cousin had sent me a few weeks earlier. She had asked me if I'd like her to send a selection of photos she had found which she didn't want. They included a few of my own family and some others she had no knowledge of: 'friends of the family' who were unknown. I had thought a week or so before they landed that maybe they had got lost in a corner of a Royal Mail sorting office. As they were (I thought) doubles of ones we already have in our precious family collection I wasn't unduly concerned...
Nothing prepared me for the avalanche of mixed emotion and creativity that erupted with the arrival of over 50 extraordinary images.....
It is a wet Sunday evening and I am reflecting on the past 10 days and all that has happened in the wake of the Reclaim the Night protests, the impact of the pandemic on our lives (living without touch) and the arrival of a set of 150 (mostly anonymous) photographs from a cousin who was clearing out her house.
It has been an overwhelming week or so.
And in the midst of so many waves of emotion I began to consider my work in a new light. A light that brings together all the themes I have wanted to explore for my whole creative life.
The importance of telling the stories of women (often lost) and of the power of objects and photographs in the retelling of these stories about the lives of women. Lost in a world that denies me the touch of my newborn grandchild and my daughters it seems that a new piece was in the offing.
I have called it 'Finding Helena'