Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Visual Deftness

Tired of counting feet in the library, I strike out for a walk in the country (but not before calling at the bakery). On the edge of town I photograph a plastic glove – of the type worn by carrers – stuck to an abandoned car. I don’t really know why I’m photographing it. I carry on walking and as I walk I remember the woman in the bakery wasn’t wearing protective gloves; she handled my Eccles cakes with the same (naked) hand she handled the money with. I photograph a horse’s head on top of a walled garden, before taking to the fields. 
After about an hour I pass another horse’s head that appears to be eating flowers. I stop for an Eccles cake in a churchyard - a dead fly cake amongst the graves. Before continuing on I investigate the ancient yew tree beside the church.
Halfway up the tree, amongst the branches, I see a horse.  After a couple of long, hot miles I enter Five Hundred Acre Wood (where A.A. Milne’s ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ stories were set), it’s dark, cool, and Poohless.
I emerge from the wood - squinting into the sunlight - and come face-to-face with a horse. We contemplate one another through a wire fence (the grid method, again); the horse is blinkered and his head’s festooned with flies. It’s like I’m looking in a mirror. It’s like I’m facing my doppelganger. I show the horse a photograph - a self-portrait I keep on my phone – in which I am blindfolded with dead-fly cakes.

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