It's not my hashtag on Instagram; it's one that I'm piggy-backing. I'm making my own meaning of it.
I love Instagram, it's a visual place, a creative place. I love the effortless way that we can say so much without words. But sometimes I struggle with it; currently there seems to be a subtle yet determined effort to prettify the internet, and there's a formula to be followed. And whilst I kinda get why folks might want to do that, to find release from whatever the daily grind brings, it's a dangerous path to follow. For some, that luxury of escape never comes. Like all other areas of life, as soon as you try to set or raise a standard, you instantly create people who don't fit. Welcome the outsiders, and all that that entails.
I fell into a black-hole on friday night, and I've spent the weekend hibernating in the studio, literally sleeping and waking and sleeping and waking, trying to find some form of normality in one of the few spaces that offers quiet and relief. My only company has been the cat, Princess Fi, and what company she has been.
As with all tumbles into the black-hole, I've begun to rise out of it. And in this time, as I clamber the virtual walls with everything that I have, I am full of all the things I wish I could be every day. I have the confidence of someone who has nothing left to lose; or rather the confidence of someone who has just about lost it all and will do whatever they can to save the rest.
And full of bravado I figured I'd reset Instagram and unprettify the internet, and make it real again. Because honestly, I've had enough of the veneer (again. Can it not just do one already?). And during my short mission, I found myself looking at old images with fresh, different eyes.
In real time I guess I didn't have my old medium format Holga for long. Lomography has long since been considered a cult thing; throw in a bit of hindsight and my chuffed self rises at being part of the thing. My camera followed me through some difficult periods of life, despite it's briefness; from when my eyesight came under threat through constant iritus in both eyes (and the many, many visits to Moorfields) through to that previous major breakdown, which seemed to follow quickly on the heels.
And in each and every photo, light is the one constant factor. It's always there. Even in my darkest times, and even if it takes decades to notice it.
Long may I (we) continue trying to keep the internet real, not pretty or perfect. Pretty is all well and good, but it is nothing without meaning. (I did aim for a less philosophical end to this post, and failed)