This weeks commissions included a whole variation of assignments. Including a feature on mountain E-biking, a delicious food shoot in Faversham and my highlight of the week photographing Clare Twomey at Tate Exchange.
The artist Clare Twomey has created a working factory, with eight tonnes of processed clay, a 30-metre production line, workers, a wall of drying racks and over 2,000 fired clay objects.
Twomey has designed the installation to send the visitors on a journey. The first thing people will encounter will be huge pyramids of commercial unfired clay closely followed by a production line with 20 trained workers, all volunteers working simultaneously.
Then comes the really exciting part. Moving to the far end of the room, where a sea of plain white pottery sits on wooden shelves. The idea is to find a piece you like and swap it with the one you have just made.
There are 2,000 items in all – jugs, mugs and gentle curving coffee pots, all produced by Dudson of Stoke-on-Trent, who worked with Twomey for six months ahead of the exhibition.
On arrival I first encountered the eight tonnes of beautifully stacked clay. Instantly I knew this was the ideal place for a portrait. Clare was very busy with the installation of the factory and being distracted by phone interviews. I originally tried the shot on available light. But could see that by setting up lighting I would achieve the effect of the varied gradients of colour upon the clay. Once Clare was ready I made sure the key light was perfectly upon Clare.
Both Clare and I were really happy with the results. The only disappointment being that I didn’t get to go away with one of Clare’s creations..there’s always a next time!