the art of disappearing

jan-22 | #onmywalk #photojournal #saturdaysketchbook #foxfield #selkirk 
#contemplativephotography #conceptualphotography #abstractphotography #paintingwithlight #softfocus #macro #visualpoetry #visualhaiku

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the blue stocking

aug-21 | #inmystudio #foxfield #selkirk 
#contemplativephotography #conceptualphotography #abstractphotography #paintingwithlight #softfocus #macro #visualpoetry #visualhaiku

The Blue Stocking is a series created as part of an ongoing healing journey in my relationship with my body, much of which has been focussed on a profound ambivalence toward (and distorted perception of) my legs.

As a 17 year old, I received the highest mark in the whole of New Zealand for my final year national University Entrance English exam. But this was the late 1970s and I was a (very) good girl so when my father sent me to secretarial school instead of higher education, I didn’t question it. My younger brother went on to university but I became a shorthand typist because my father didn’t want me to be a ‘blue stocking’ which the dictionary defines as ‘an intelligent and well-educated woman who spends most of her time studying and is therefore not approved of by some men’. It was certainly not a path he approved of. He probably also had (unspoken and unacknowledged) fears about the sexuality of these (in his mind) highly unconventional and deeply unfeminine women.

9BD5A3F7-00EC-42A4-9BF3-6F4AC4776B3AIt is so easy to look back in hindsight and see how clearly this set me on a trajectory toward 13 devastating years of chronic bulimia, with all the low self-worth and body-image issues that accompany such an illness. The parallel between these early experiences and the extreme measures I have taken over the years to keep my legs (and intelligence) hidden is not lost on me. I was 60 before I allowed myself to wear a (short-ish) skirt and stockings confidently in public but it is extremely symbolic that when I did so, it was on a visit to the Glasgow Women’s Library.

Exhibited as part of the Whose Body Is It project, curated by the We for Women collective.

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tides

mar-21 | #onmywalk #stabbs #berwickshire #saturdaysketchbook #photojournal
#contemplativephotography #conceptualphotography #abstractphotography #paintingwithlight #softfocus #macro #visualpoetry #visualhaiku

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hold yourself closer

jan-21 | #foxfield #selkirk #scottishborders #saturdaysketchbook
#contemplativephotography #conceptualphotography #abstractphotography #photojournal #paintingwithlight #softfocus #macro #visualpoetry #visualhaiku

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girl on the shore

dec-20 | #philiphaugh #selkirk #scottishborders
#contemplativephotography #conceptualphotography #abstractphotography #paintingwithlight #softfocus #macro #visualpoetry #visualhaiku

“She’d left for the shore,
exploring the sea-washed bones,
frayed nets, faded buoys,
her own independence.

Now I’m tilting a telescope,
and find her, a small figure
making her way inland,
the Minch wild behind her.

I twiddle the focus,
see how she jumps
a ditch, climbs a fence,
wind-blown, elegant and free.

I can find no adjustment
on the scope,
to still the vibrations
from a quickened heart.”

John Plunkett Poems | A Melody of Sorts

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your life’s work

dec-20 | #inmystudio #selkirk #scottishborders
#contemplativephotography #conceptualphotography #abstractphotography #paintingwithlight #softfocus #macro #visualpoetry #visualhaiku

“Everyone has his successes, his moments of success. For example, some people find it it a success if they are able to get up in the morning, go to work, and get there on time – even if they barely make it. Success is a time-punched card inserted at exactly the right moment. That is a moment of success. Sometimes they can live off that for one whole day. No matter how dull the work that follows.

“Bad art, you can tinker with it and turn it into high art with your life’s work. Life’s work – that’s what it’s really all about. You must have produced something decent with within your life. Actually, those are Heaven’s directives. Otherwise, Hell.”

Martin Kippenberger | The Photographer’s Playbook

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otherworld

oct-20 | #inmygarden #selkirk #scottishborders #heuchera #earlyautumn
#artistswhowalk #artistswhowander #walkingartpractice #miksangphotography #contemplativephotography #mindfulnessphotography

“I often walk the gardens in the early morning, taking my tea or coffee with me … and always my camera. Often, I come across fungi and am reminded of the Otherworld, that which is all around, above and below, and indefinable. It has become commonplace now to enter a state of timelessness, as though becoming a part of Nature herself … betwixt and between … between worlds.”

Colette O’Neill | Walking Between Worlds
@Bealtaine Cottage Press

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becoming animal

sep-20 | #onmyislandwalk #isleofskye #scottishhighlands
#artistswhowalk #artistswhowander #walkingartpractice #miksangphotography #contemplativephotography

“Owning up to being an animal, a creature of the earth. Tuning our animal senses to the sensible terrain: blending our skins with the rain-rippled surface of rivers, mingling our ears with the thunder and the thrumming of frogs, and our eyes with the molten sky, Feeling the polyrhythmic pulse of this place – this huge windswept body of water and stone. This vexed being in whose flesh we’re entangled.

“Becoming earth. Becoming animal. Becoming, in this manner, fully human.”

David Abram | Becoming Animal, An Earthly Cosmology

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wife and mother

aug-20 | #inmygarden #kilncroft #selkirk
#latesummerstorm #gardenview #artistswhowalk #artistswhowander #walkingartpractice #miksangphotography #contemplativephotography

“One of my graduate students several years ago was part of the second wave of feminism inspired by Betty Friedan’s 1963 book, The Feminine Mystique. My student directly experienced the soul-destroying lifestyle of dutiful wife and mother of the 1950s and early 1960s. Turning her frustration into anger, and her anger into action, she battled with her husband to share in household tasks and childcare so she could have a professional career. She, and her her peers, struggled against a rigid patriarchy and the cultural standards of the day. In the end, her husband left her and she forged the life she wanted, but at a great cost. 

“When I met her, she was pursuing a MFA in photography at the age of 70. Her graduate thesis was making portraits and doing interviews with her peers, who were mid-century women who had massively uprooted their home lives, took a firm stand against cultural norms, and courageously sought career opportunities to become contributing members of society. Their portraits depicted great bravery and strength along with a deep sense of resignation and grief over what they had to sacrifice.

“I found the photographs exceedingly strong, and she graduated with honours.”

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seeing

aug-20 | #inmygarden #kilncroft #selkirk
#latesummer #lateevening #artistswhowalk #artistswhowander #walkingartpractice #miksangphotography #contemplativephotography

“I love Sunday mornings. I wake up early enough, but not too early. The first thing I notice is how quiet it is outside my windows. The endless stream of cars heading to their destinations has ceased. I realize that I do not have to put my daily regimen into gear. I can put in the clutch and coast for a while. I can move at my own pace, free of external influence, and let the day unwind in a natural rhythm. I feel a tremendous sense of relief, together with a basic sense of wellbeing and contentedness.

“Because I have noticed and appreciated the stillness of the Sunday morning, I can allow myself to open out into a world of possibility. There is room for me to take my time and examine my choices for what I do, and when I do it, and choose according to what I want. Instead of the usual relentless sense of trying to be somewhere and do something, I have room to breathe, to renew myself, and refresh my being. This sense of freedom is a wonderful feeling. On Sundays for me it arises out of the recognition and appreciation of stillness. When we slow down, unwind, and just be, we can have a quiet mind. There is all the room we need to relax and enjoy ourselves. In this space of openness, all things are possible.”

We can begin to truly see.

Julie DeBose | Effortless Beauty

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standing still

jul-20 | #ettrick #philiphaugh #selkirk
#midsummer #earlymorning #artistswhowalk #artistswhowander #walkingasartisticpractice

“Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer It has chosen.”

Minor White | 1908-1976

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rhythm of walking

jul-20 | #ettrick #philiphaugh #selkirk #multipleexposure
#midsummer #lateevening #artistswhowalk #artistswhowander #walkingasartisticpractice

“The rhythm of walking generates a kind of rhythm of thinking, and the passage through a landscape echoes or stimulates the passage through a series of thoughts. This creates an odd consonance between internal and external passage, one that suggests that the mind is also a landscape of sorts and that walking is one way to traverse it. A new thought often seems like a feature of the landscape that was there all along, as though thinking were travelling rather than making.”

Wanderlust, A History of Walking | Rebecca Solnit

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