Collaborating with local artists is, for me, very energizing. Recently I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with Stephanie Lopes, Gemma Adams, Keph, Shelley Frederick, and Viola Rose. Some of the work we have done together is quite pleasing. The results are better than I could have imagined. Each collaboration brought new ideas as well as increasing visual challenges.
How to convey the sense of beauty and grace when working with aerialists and handstand artists? How to participate in the act of Butoh when called upon to do so? How to extend the visual themes and ideas that I find so compelling?
Out of the blue, a kind email was received from Irish Heather Collins. She asked if I would be interested in working a theme of Mermaid? Never one to turn down a request of this magnitude, I replied "yes".
We set a time and place. My trusty assistant, my wife, joined me in the studio. Irish painted and groomed herself in the manner of a Mermaid from the very great deep.
As we worked through the shoot, various ideas were raised and worked. We reached a point where the sea chest needed to be opened and it's contents revealed. All the while, tulle was attempting to make it's way out of the chest and into the open world.
It felt like a key point in the shoot when my wife suggested that the tulle needed to be set free. She asked "... why not have our Mermaid marry the Sea?" All at once something struck and held firm. An idea was born.
This is one of the most satisfying images I have made this year. Actually, since this was a collaboration, this is one of the most satisfying images I have had the opportunity to help create with help from other fine artists and assistants.