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IMAGINATION (some thoughts on)

Ripley from Blackpool

Since 2013 I have been looking for clues about culture and world views, for embodied values that can be read through the language of fashion and self expression.

This is Saturday Girl.

Saturday Girl about Town is this in relation to the covid times - a new generation that are coming of age with a more fluid understanding of identity, of gender and also of suffering, of separation, of total upheaval.

This generation doesn’t have the luxury of Illusion. The promises of capitalism, the seemingly solid foundations of patriarchy (however repressive and limiting this is), of world order, of nature as merely a resource for humanity; all of these ideas are crumbling and disappearing.

These systems and the material realities they built started as ideas. They were imagined first.

Imagination has been quantified and quelled, through the attack on creativity and art through underfunding and an education system that seeks to control through a small minded and unenchanted upper class.

Nonetheless the crumbling is happening. Whatever power patriarchy holds isn’t enough to match Mother Nature and the chaos that is unleashing through the climate emergency and as covid is replaced by a war in Europe.

There is a lot going on.

Saturday Girl About Town came from conversations between James Lawler, Sarah Fisher and I about how art can engage with the unfolding new world.

I am a documentary photographer which for me means simply to respond to the world, to open my heart and eyes with my camera and stay curious and present. I am looking for guidance, for an understanding of where we are headed by reading the language of youth and making this visible in portraiture. My working methods and tools are in response as well ( no rules in process; lighting, framing materials, spaces, props).

Something I’m reading in the language of youth and self expression in this time of foundational cracks and crumbling.-

There is an awakening happening that is based in ritual and nature, in imagination.

Kids in every town I’ve worked in are aligning to a different sets of non-patriarchal values that feel ancient, free, visionary. They are casting spells, choosing new names, looking to magic and nature, to creativity, for identity. These folks are everywhere, with dialects akin to their towns, economies and landscape but no less a tribe, a new ancient tribe coming of age.

I don’t know where we are going. I have no illusions about the ferocity and chaos of war, virus, the violent changes in nature, but these visionary kids give me hope.

There is imagination in their language of self, imagination in their visibility, playful and gentle, wild and ferocious imaginative language and expressions of self.

The repressive systems we live in were first imagined. This world was imagined into material architecture and institutions. These systems are failing now.

Inside the cracks violent crumblings is imagination.

I hear my calling

My job in this life; what I’ve been training for in motherhood and art school, through my messiness and mistakes, my vices and shame, gifts and priviledges; all of this has brought a humble curiousity and wise focus. My calling is to make visible this tribe, to see them so that they may see themselves, and see each other, to identify each other as tribe. I am in sacred calling here. I am working in service to my highest calling and most wise self. I am a conduit and serve my ancestors, spirit guides, connecting through camera (sacred tool) to the next generation, the wild imagination tribe.

Imagination is where change starts. My job, my work is to make space for imagination so that the young visionaries can imagine the new world, imagination without limits, imagine the most fiercely interconnected enchanted and wild lives. And act on this. Imagination then action.

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