Last week I happened to be talking with a good friend who also happens to be someone I admire as an artist and mentor and we got on to the subject of my practice and the best way to describe what I do. Not something I normally consider as my work is an ever evolving tapestry of what I experience, see and love.
He suggested a term for what I am as a creative as being a "memory artist" or something to that effect (ironic that I can't remember the exact term hahah). The discussion stuck with me and the more I thought about it the more it scratched at my brain and understanding of my work as an artist. With photography, by it's very nature you play with light and capture moments, with a bit more planning you can twist and turn the light to create moments but in essence the final work is still that moment the shutter opened and closed.
I realise that I have moved in and out of different parts of peoples lives and I have the archives to prove it My camera has been there when I have laughed with friends, it's been there when I have cried with family. It has also been there when I have sought inspiration, clarification and resolution. All of it kept as a record, a memory that's always going to be there - well it's as permanent as I can make it.
The work can be thought of as objective by some but I know it's subjective - it came from me determining what I want to shoot when I capture it. If it's studio work, documentary, personal or commissioned it all has my influence one way or another. Every now and then something comes up that let's me give these moments back, in this case a shot I took while enjoying a sunny morning watching people training their dogs. A week after, one of these amazing people without any warning, would pass away. I found this out a few days after and a little while after that I would be given the chance to give back that moment on that sunny morning.
I have an archive of moments that mean a lot to me and I have realised that I have also managed to acquire moments in other peoples lives - memories that are my art.
Let me share this memory from last week, a moment of peace, gratitude and aroha. I am so lucky to be able to do what I do and to love doing this while encompassed in an appreciation for those around me and a respect for time.