My Kitchen 2020
A series of 5 images posed for in the kitchen of our West Croydon home, with my lockdown household
This image was taken about a month into lock-down in Croydon, London 2020. There were the 4 of us living in the house. Myself, my husband John, our son Phoenix and housemate Awk the clown. We had all lost our jobs in theatre and the reality of this loss had not seemed real at this time. We were still our characters and bursting with performance.
I had not prepared myself for the overwhelming job of being photographer, art director, mum, model, and lighting designer. The image isn't technically perfect but is captured the electric zeitgeist of the beginning of lock-down for a bunch of artists.
We had planned this shoot for a week after the first. Routine and having things to look forward to become so important for us. Regular meal times, activities, games became necessary to keep us healthy and positive.
I had requested the boys to dress up again. John placed a beautiful painting he was gifted by his Liverpool Nan by artist Brain Burgess. I was so caught up trying to get the technical stuff I didn't prop the painting up and I regret that.
By the time we got ready for the shoot I was the only one not in costume and hadn't sorted the technical bits for our picture. I decided the best placement for me in the shoot was as i was, under the table, running the shoot, trying to make space on my jammed full hard drive and tending to my 4 year old's snacking needs.
This image is the most surreal in the series. We had all decided to become our housemate Alexander's Clown Awk.
We used all the elements from Awk's show that had gone to the Edinburgh fringe in 2019. We had all enjoyed the show so knew we would have great fun becoming it.
I spend a large part of the day setting up so I knew I would have the time to get us looking the part. My son Phoenix took a while to get ready. Seeing himself and his Mum & Dad transform into a different character was a little distressing at first. We had to gently ease him into being part of this picture.
It was satisfying to play such a defined character with props from a show we had seen Awk be in several times. We really enjoyed the level of manic play we could give to this image and I love the eccentric detail within the props displayed in this scene.
This image although so joyful summons great hurt for the loss of our industry. John teaches Shakespeare all over the country and performs in a show for the past 10 years with our dear pals in Shitfaced Shakespeare.
Over the years we have accumulated a great deal of beautiful and rich Jacobin costume and props. It seemed such a brilliant choice to celebrate our love for Shakespeare within these images.
We gathered pictures, flyers and props from the fringe shows we have made over the years and displayed them over the dresser's in the background. We we're all missing our friends at this point. We we're especially missing that tremendous feeling you get from giving art to people through theatre.
We opened a special bottle of red wine to share and gave our son some chocolate biscuits to eat while the images were taken. We all felt very playful here and inspired by looking back on our creative achievements.
This image feels very bitter sweet. John and I had made it to our 5 year wedding anniversary. Usually we would be the types to invite all our friends and family to celebrate what we have achieved in our married life. But that was not to be.
We decided with gusto to celebrate our anniversary, dusted of our wedding suits and unboxed the bunting. from the 9th of May 2015. We gathered all the wedding gifts we could find and added them to the picture. In the foreground we placed a picture of all the wedding guests gathered in the Round Chapel Clapton for our day.
Our son couldn't quite understand why he wasn't invited to the day. He found us not giving him full attention very frustrating when making this picture. I like that I can hear him so well when I look at this picture.