Weekend Portrait Series: Day 8
More delays, but more posts! So we all win in the end. Another early start found me walking up Lord Street, past St Peters Station and across the road towards smokestacks extending from long-retired brick ovens. Children chased each other across the playground, and dogs chased tennis balls and each other across the rolling holls of Sydney Park. The latter were part of the reason I was here, and I quickly found my first subject of the day.
Alyce & Chico, Sunday, 10:00am, St Peters
Alyce and I had previously missed and rescheduled our appointment a few times, and there was a particular reason for that. His name is Chico, and he is a miniature schnauzer (the official reason for the reschedule was that he had "got into some cheese he shouldn't have", which is a scenario I can not even visualise).
Chico had also, I had been informed, somehow intuited that he was to have his photo taken, and had promptly rolled himself into a mud puddle. He was inordinately proud of this. Admittedly, 30 seconds earlier, he had been intertwined in a three-dog conga line/human, er, canine centipede formation, so perhaps decorum was not high on his list of priorities.
Alyce, uncaring of mud or wet dog, scooped Chico up. I can not even picture Alyce unkempt, muddied, or in any way out of sorts, so I presume she remained clean through sheer force of will. Chico adopted a casual "check me out, Mum" cockiness, and allowed himself to be carried.
I could have happily sat and taken photos of these two for the rest of the day, but I had my schedule to keep to, so I bid them farewell, and put my feet to the familiar path towards Sydney University, and my next subject.
Michael Wall, Sunday, 12pm, Sydney University
I waited for Mike outside the Sydney Alternative Rock 'n' Roll Markets. I knew better than to browse as I waited, for the last time I had gone inside, I had purchased a Mark Lanagan poster, a tiki mug, a plate of gumbo, and about 20 comics books (I am unsure of the actual number, as the proprietor of the stall saw how many I had in my arms and told me to "just grab some more").
Mike had previously assisted me on my Playtime photo project, and at the time his hair was a tiny ridge along his otherwise shaved head. Now it hung down the right side of his face in a lime-green curtain, and he had accented it with a ginger Van-Dyke-and-Fu-Manchu combination. However, whenever he smiled, the Fu Manchu tended to disappear. “It’s my huge dimples.” he explained. “It’s my curse.”
We chatted about comic books, movies, and records, specifically the Deep Purple “Fireball” picture disc he had his eye on inside the markets. Not to be outdone, I pointed out that the one picture disc I owned was a Paul McCartney-Rupert-the-Bear disc in the shape of Rupert’s head, though I don’t think this had the same street cred.
Mike went in to fetch his record, and I headed back towards Enmore to meet my next subject.
Milly Molly Mandy, Sunday, 2pm, Enmore
I was meeting MMM at "the shop”which had taken me a few messages to realise meant Doppelgänger, but the doors seems to be closed and locked. I killed time until 2 rolled around and got the all clear-message. The iron gate was unlocked, and I stepped into perhaps the quietest version of Doppelgänger hair I’d ever seen.
I had previously had my hair cut at Doppelgänger several times, the first when I was a mere two months off the plane from Canada, nearly twelve years ago. The most recent visit was a few months previous, where I had spent most of the appointment chatting about terrible movies and excellent music with Alex, the gent who trimmed my pompadour into something more manageable (but still stylin’). Afterwards, I, like so many others, had my photo taken in front of the green wall adorned with 3 ceramic ducks, which had belonged to MMM’s grandmother.
As we shot near the front window, MMM’s cat Ecco decided to get involved in the proceedings. True to his cat nature, though, he got involved in a completely non-helpful or photogenic way.
If you’re keen to see more, Doppelgänger and MMM were featured in Nic Bezzina’s Newtown Shopkeepers book, which I would be angry about (because I had the idea for a similar series literally 1 week before he released it) were it not so excellent.
Walking further down Enmore Road, past the newly-incredibly popular Cow and the Moon (home to reputedly the best gelato in the world, but then again, we Newtown folk already knew that), I turned down an alley and arrived at the Young Henry's brewery, and met my next subject.
Kaitlin Mitchell, Sunday, 3pm, Enmore
I spotted Kaitlin as I arrived at Young Henry’s, and we got drinks to catch up. She did indeed have lizards on her shirt, which was made by ToySyndrome. I had mostly seen Kaitlin at various trivia nights at the dip, where we had never won, except in spirit.
We shot a few pictures in the brewery, and for all that it was vibrant with noise and colours and one extremely large black German Shepherd (or possible dire wolf), it seemed like too black and white of a location. Kaitlin is definitely a colour person, so we took to the alleys.
We both got a little over-excited, running from one bit of street art to the next. “What about this one?” ”This other one could work!” I think we circled the brewery 3 or 4 times.
Finally, we were about to head back when Kaitlin spotted something and dashed across the street, heedless of traffic. “It’s a dead girl on the wall!”, she said, then posed wildly. I waited until after I took the picture to point out there was a cursive “Lust”on the other side. We both agreed, though, that “Between Lust and the Dead Girl”would make an excellent band name or tumblr URL.
The reason for Kaitlin’s suggesting Young Henry’s was a Quentin Tarantino screen-printed t-shirt exhibition, in which her friend Amy was participating. I met Amy, and her friend Ray, and both agreed to help me finish out the rolls of film and be subjects.
Amy Bean and Ray McLaws, Sunday, 4:00pm, Enmore
I dragged Ray out into the alley for some candid snaps.
Upon returning to the brewery, Amy, Ray, Kaitlin and I discussed Wes Anderson films. The topic was such an evocative one that Amy and Ray decided that as soon as they were finished, they would go home and watch Rushmore (which I still have not seen).
I continued taking a polaroid at the beginning of each shoot and hiding it in my bag to develop until the very end. Yet again, it was immensely satisfying to review the results at the end of the day.
And that was the end of Day 8! It was a busy one, but the full on regimented crazy of Day 7 prepared me, so Day 8 seemed chilled out by comparison. There’s another weekend to post, and one final one to shoot, then the project will be finished.
Then what am I gonna do?!
- Olympus OM-1 + Kodak TriX 400 black-and-white 35mm film
- Nikon FG20 + Kodak Portra CN 400 colour 35mm film
- Horizon Perfekt + AGFA CN 400 colour 35mm film
- LC-Wide + Lomography Redscale XR 50-200 35mm film
- Lomography Sprocket Rocket + AGFA CN 200 colour 35mm film
- Lubitel 166+ + Rollei RPX 200 black-and-white 120mm film
- Holga 120N + Lomography CN 100 colour 120mm film
- Polaroid Close-up 660 + Impossible Project 600 black-and-white film, Black frame
Special thanks to Alyce Marshwiggle, Michael Wall, Melissa Giardini, Kaitlin Mitchell, Amy Bean, and Ray McLaws for their time. Developing and scanning by Foto Riesel, Sydney.