Smoke and Mirrors

Photographing artists work is always interesting if not challenging and last Wednesday was to prove no exception. Artists Lin Holland and Jane Poulton had asked Liverpool Cathedral to commission me to photograph their new work Earth and Aether situated in the Cathedral Chapter House.

The work would be completed that morning, I was then to photograph the piece and process the images on site, the finished images would go to designers Taylor Simons on Rodney Street that same afternoon and the printed leaflets would be ready early the next day. No pressure then!

 Gilded sandstone block on the floor of the Chapter House

Gilded sandstone block on the floor of the Chapter House

On arriving I find the sandstone block placed in the centre of the Chapter House is gilded and the house about to be positioned above is mirrored (glad I combed my hair) reflective objects are difficult at the best of times, but there's nowhere to hide in this place!

 Mirrored house suspended above the gilded boulder

Mirrored house suspended above the gilded boulder

It was a privileged to be the first person to spend time alone in the presence of this work, otherworldly is the only word that springs to mind when trying to describe it. I hope the results speak for themselves.

 
 Reflections from the Chapter House windows

Reflections from the Chapter House windows

 

Walking Through Windows

As well as being one of the most technical jobs I've undertaken, the photography of the Noble Lady Windows in the Lady Chapel of Liverpool Cathedral required the set-up and positioning of over forty pieces of equipment, most of which needed to be moved between shots.

Once the lighting had been positioned over the panel being photographed you only had to climb down the ladder, walk across the Well, through door number one, across a cluttered store room and through door number two, up the staircase to the founders plot, up more steps to the Children's Porch, through door number three leading on to the Lady Chapel Gallery, down the staircases to the floor of the Chapel up another ladder to position the camera, then test the flash whilst taking a light reading, now for the easy part, press the shutter release.

 Detail of the Atrium window

Detail of the Atrium window

 Detail of the Staircase window

Detail of the Staircase window

Now repeat twenty nine times, phew.

If only I could have walked through windows.