Turning 32 (Barcelona)
He took me away from it all…… It was my birthday and escape was the best present I could have hoped for. He chose a beautiful apartment and looked after me, like he always has done.We expected sun but were followed by the English rain, and it rained, and rained, and rained, and rained! My shoes were soaked, my dresses were thin…. I froze, he held the umbrella while I tried to take pictures. The streets were flooded, the queues for galleries were long, I was a brand new 32, he is still and always will be 3 years younger than me…. He’s my Matt.
We visited the buildings I wrote about in my history of art essays 14 years ago… Casa Batllo….. one of my favourites. It felt strange touching the wood of the staircases I had studied… seeing the broken china pushed into the walls…. The soft organic interiors, the curves, the gentle light through frosted glass. Everywhere was beyond comprehension; to think this building was built a hundred years ago seemed almost impossible. The colours were melted blues, molten gold…. flashes of white clashed with the warmth of wood, the sense of protection and natural form was everywhere, it was unexpected and wonderful……
After seeing Casa Batllo, Casa Mila and finally the Sagrada Familia, I decided to take these images away with me and work on how they affected me. The rain and frustration had generated a lot of self portraits, as my dreams of capturing the locals had been washed away by the relentless weather. So I decided to try and combine all these elements into my pictures….. the softness of Gaudi, the dark light, my remembrance of studying art all those years ago, and the fact it was my birthday…. portraits of who I had become.
The rain finally forced me to experiment with my camera…. lazy girl… I have always loved photography, but am thrown by the technical side.. so we played with the settings, and together in the dark, we worked it out These are my first ever completely manual pictures… the focus, the aperture etc etc. It finally allowed me to capture the darkness and mood I love so much about the old masters paintings…
I was, and still am very nervous about uploading these pictures, but the human body is the only element secondary to Gaudi’s interiors that felt right. I have always loved the human form and only ever use myself out of sheer desperation and lack of models!.. This is very difficult for me, but in a way I’m glad I embraced it, I feel I’ve moved on a little again with my pictures and so its feels worth it in the end, here they are (gulp)…..
At times I forgot about things and was happy to be in another city, my dear friend Victoria (who originally planned the weekend in the first place) stayed a few streets away with another friend and we went out dancing at night… but sometimes it was just too much. I go through stages of coping and other times when I just can’t pretend I’m ok…… sometimes people just don’t know what to say, and I find it hard when I know they are struggling to find the right words. But there are also moments when this brings out the best in the people who care about me – I had to include this photo because it was just one of those moments………….
Matt’s way of stopping me crying, ……..I laughed myself sick.
Finally on the last day the weather broke…. I almost ran into the local square with my camera just in time to catch the Sunday market. The arches of the old buildings were teaming with locals studying the papers, trading stamps and coins. The characters were endless….. by this point I was beyond caring… there was so little time, I think I was bolder than I have ever been….. I ran from one group to the next, taking as many pictures as I could. There are still so many I haven’t edited yet, but this entry is already 2 weeks late… so here are my favourites so far………..