Earlier this year, I responded to a request by MMU photography student Danielle Ridyard, who was looking for writers to take part in her degree project. Writers were asked to create a brief poem or prose piece inspired by her striking images of ‘found objects’ – things and fragments of things that she’d discovered around the apartment block where she lives. I was intrigued by the idea – even more so, when my image arrived and I had no idea what it might be. But very quickly, I saw that it could embody so many different ideas and images, and before I knew it, a (tiny) story had emerged.
Danielle’s degree show apparently went splendidly and last week, a beautifully presented booklet appeared through my letterbox; it was my little story, entitled ‘Tooth’. I feel very grateful to have played a part in Danielle’s project. She’s intending to sell work from her exhibition (including ‘Tooth’) at the Annual Artist Book Fair at Manchester Metropolitan University this November.
So I’ve been thinking about photographs.
When I wrote ‘How We Were Lost’, my pc was surrounded by old seaside holiday snaps. During ‘Before the Light’, I’ve referred to pictures we’ve taken when out walking in the Peak District. I’ve also pored over ‘Twilight: Photography in the Magic Hour’ for its wonderfully atmospheric images.
However, none of these pictures are described directly in my stories – but (as with Danielle’s photo), they’ve often provided a starting point, from which ideas and feelings, and other images could grow.
For me, so much about writing seems to be about making and remaking vivid pictures.
In other picture-related news, the fabulous Nikki Pinder, responsible for ‘How We Were Lost’s stunning cover art, is taking part in a joint art exhibition at the Islington Arts Centre. The exhibition runs from August 8th to September 5th. Check it out, if you can . . .