I've been trying to write something to accompany these pictures for a week or two but nothing seemed to sum up what I was thinking and feeling very clearly until yesterday when we went to London for the day.
We'd managed to procure some free tickets to the sold out David Bowie is exhibition at the V&A which needed using by the end of this week and this was the only way we could do it. The exhibition is the V&A's most successful show ever which in itself is thought provoking considering it has existed since 1852. When it's run finishes in August it will start a tour of the world, which along with the publication will feed an apparently insatiable demand for all things Bowie. A friend who works at the V&A said her colleagues had been joking that they will probably be dealing with this show for the rest of their careers.
I really enjoyed the exhibition, which is an immersive experience with a headphone soundtrack, videos, artefacts and most interestingly, many of the outfits he wore through the decades. Just trying to navigate around it is bizarre as it is packed out everyday and I trod on the feet of at least four people, constantly craning to see past everyone else. It does create a reverential atmosphere, I felt several times that we were all worshiping at the church of Bowie. It must be strange for him as he is still a working artist, and retrospectives of this kind are usually reserved for the dead. Apparently he visited the show a couple of weeks ago very early in the morning, of course he had his own private viewing and didn't need to worry about treading on people's feet.
Bowie has the ability to blend ideas, sounds, images and feelings from diverse sources making new sense of them. Early on in the exhibition you move from his suburban roots as David Jones in Brixton to the fascination with space in the late 60's and early 70's, which he managed to bring together in his music. This made me think about the layers of reality we navigate on a daily basis. Bowie is all about putting on masks, tapping into a specific part of himself. As humans we construct alternative realities possibly more so than ever, with technologies that take you to parallel spaces, just using Facebook on a smart phone is an example of that.
So I think that's what these two photographs do for me, they show two realities in one frame. For me creativity is often about looking for clues to the meaning of being human, of seeing the bigger things in the mundane. Both pictures were taken at an amusement park in Cornwall and seem to combine the spectacular and the ordinary.
There is an earlier blog post here from the same location:
I also seem to be making a habit of using song titles as blog titles, more here if you are interested: