25th October 2015
Reynisfjara is from Tinder. His genuine enthusiasm for the project, mixed with his warmth and patience should have been a recipe for a perfect model. As the weeks turned into months since he had initially sent over the source materials to make a ghost, he began to check in on me to see how I was progressing. It became a horrible relationship with my ghost, I had that souring feeling that I was letting down someone who was excited to be part of a project like this - what kinda artist jerk was I. Two things were at play, firstly I was planning for and about to leave on a major holiday to Iceland for 3 weeks. Secondly I was experiencing what could best be described as “a creative slump”. Those two things sucked away my inspiration and desire to work, everything I made I second guessed - nothing seemed to give justice to this man's likeness. I decided to give myself a break from worrying and go on this once-in-a-lifetime holiday.
While on holiday in Iceland I was taking photos on the black sandy beach ‘Reynisfjara’. I started to take a series of photos of a beautiful rock face to later turn into 3D. I also took some 360º photos to capture the environment and the light (again for use later in 3D) The thought crossed my mind of maybe seeing a ghost in this setting, but I let it go to enjoy the rest of my time (which I did, highly encourage anyone to visit Iceland). Once home and settled back in to day to day life, I revisited the ghost to see where I had gotten up to. I had left it looking stale, overworked and well .. boring. I really wanted to start putting in some of those new assets I’d acquired. It happened rapidly within a few days the final image you see was created. I wanted to capture in one still some of the isolation of Iceland, its force, its momentum, the elemental harshness and its effects on a person being. This ghost now marks the first one to be illuminated by captured “natural” light, everyone before it was done via 3D lighting, and I love the effect. So moving forward, the learning is that creative slumps could possibly be due to those self imposed pressures we put on ourselves, we create frameworks, we set our own expectations, we become rigid, when really we continue to change and our art has to also evolve. I gave myself permission to bring my ghosts out of the shadows and haunt a beach in Iceland. They’ve always represented echos of people willing to submit their likeness, from which I use as a tool to create and capture something about my own personal here and now, hopefully that’s what continues to be interesting in this project - it’s evolution of both visuals and their meanings.