Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Henrietta Savernake’s drama

Nausicaa, she thought sadly, would not come again. She had been born, had been contaminated and had died…
Queer, thought Henrietta, how things can seep into you without your knowing it…
She hadn
t been listening - not really listening - and yet knowledge of Doriss cheap, spiteful little mind had seeped into her mind and had, unconsciously, influenced her hands.
[ The Hollow, chapter 2 - Agatha Christie ]

I know so desperately well sculptress Henrietta Savernake’s drama - described so perfectly by Agatha Christie - when, after basing her Nausicaa on a random girl she met on the bus, she accidentally caught, beside the hollow eyes and expression she was looking for, also the pettiness and meaningless of her model, Doris Sanders, a dull, vulgarly talkative girl who kept pestering the poor artist with her useless problems about the wife of the man who gave her an expensive bracelet (although no, they didn’t do anything inappropriate, it was that woman who was paranoid).
All of the above is awfully true for me as well. I noticed am only able to photograph people when I love and keep them in high regard, or when I don’t know them at all. Once I get to know them and find out they’re nasty, empty, petty and useless, they have nothing more to give to my art. The very thought of shooting them becomes anything but attractive, and if I go on and do it, the photos come out empty, emotionless, artificial and banal.
(I can say, though, that I can consider a proof of my own professionality the fact that quite few people seem to notice this: once, when I did so, the fans and critics’ response was overwelming. Either they’re blind, or I’m good enough to hide it).

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