Exposure № 073: High Contrast

.
e start this week
with photography from award-winning 15 year-old British photographer, Eleanor Leonne Bennett, who tells us a little about some of her black and white photography. We’ll feature more of her photos in the coming weeks.
“Unpublished 2” is of two people falling out of a boat , taken at Tod Brook in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire. Their sails came down and everything started to go wrong; they were good-humoured though, and thought it was sweet that I captured it.
 
“Least Said Soonest Better” is an image of my mother when she was seriously ill with pneumonia and pleurisy. She is  recovered and now currently leading a very healthy existence.
“Boat” is a photo taken when I walked to the dentist. My mum doesn’t drive, so we walk most places. We walked along canals and saw many barges like this one. I would love to live on a barge for awhile. I bet it is great fun being able to travel slowly, never missing a beat or photo opportunity.
“Alan with lung cancer – worry of the one in three” is a image of my father’s friend Alan Arnfield, who at the time the image was taken was suffering from lung cancer. He has since recovered.
* * * * *
Eleanor Leonne Bennett is a 15 year-old, internationally award-winning photographer and artist who has won first places in contests from National Geographic, the World Photography Organisation, Nature’s Best Photography, Papworth Trust, Mencap, the Woodland Trust, and Postal Heritage. Her photography has  been published in the Telegraph, the Guardian, the BBC News website and on the cover of books and magazines in the United States and Canada. Her art is globally exhibited, having shown work in London, Paris, Indonesia, Los Angeles, Florida, Washington, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada, Spain, Germany, Japan, Australia and at the Environmental Photographer of the Year Exhibition (2011). She was also the only person from the UK to have her work displayed in the National Geographic- and Airbus-run “See The Bigger Picture” global exhibition tour with the United Nations International Year Of Biodiversity 2010.  
This is her first contribution to Snake-Oil Cure.

Dr. Hurley’s Digest: Vol. II, Week 2

We had another wonderful collaborative week this week, taking photography from Naama Sarid and pairing it with fiction and short prose inspired by those photos. We’ve grouped each of this week’s posts below depending on what photo is goes with.

Many thanks to Naama and to all our contributors!

 

 

 

Next week, we’re back to normal, so keep your eyes peeled for more goodies!

Coronation

.
hen the darkness cooled things off too much in the house, L. went out in the garden to put the heat back in her veins. There was nothing cold-blooded about her, but she needed the sun to keep her heart beating. It wasn’t just for mood-brightening and vitamin D purposes—the saving star was the reason she continued to walk on this earth.

All her life, she could feel the human temperature waning. When things became stagnant, L. had to bring the energy back. The only way was the sun. She knew this because of the shadowy house, where even the windows conspired against the light. She had to seek it out, invite it back through her skin. Somehow the gamma rays dimmed as they passed through the panes, lost their vitality before they could warm the floor tiles and revive the suffering houseplants. L. was living in a reverse greenhouse with a family that squinted at the first sign of radiation.

The house had once had a gardener, a small man partial to pruning and cutting, keeping in check. He preferred hedges and stiff stems, plants he could easily keep in straight, clean lines. But the darkness of the house had eventually driven him off. A man of soil cannot manipulate light’s wonders with that abyss staring at him, he said as he passed by L. one day with his shears tucked inside a heavy bag. So the gardener was gone, but his hedges and rosebushes took over his realm. They negotiated the spaces they had been sharply clipped out of before, and discovered the vining power previously discouraged. But L. had found the horizontal planes of the hedges to be sturdy support for her contemplations of the sun. As though reluctant to give up its legacy too quickly, one row of hedges was slow to lose its strictly sculptured shape. It was where L. had found her life again.

L.’s mother and father must have had some kind of pilot light inside of them, keeping their organs warm, because shadows seemed to give them more direction than the sun’s rays. Sometimes L. imagined she had had been born with a twin whose short life had been concealed from her. Had that being taken all the power to extract substance from darkness? These things were simply not discussed. There was certainly talk—about caves, the Marianas Trench, certain Mozart arias, outer space—but it did not extend to the brighter parts of the universe. L’s grandmother lived with them too, always ruminating in her chair on some seed or other, like a weathered crow. They were less a family than a collection of refugees, gathered in mutual avoidance. They talked, ate, listened to music, and even read together, straining to see the words, but L. was the only one who had a sense of a lost homeland, a heat-seeking tendency.

She was always hoarding candles and lightbulbs, hard as it was from the paltry supply kept on hand. In her room, she kept vigil with a carefully rationed lump of wax and a sad lamp a neighbor must have dropped in their yard. She also had a lantern left behind from the gardener. Even at night, you must keep the memory of illumination, he had said. He liked to walk about his handiwork after sundown, assuring the green of its eventual return to color. L. had not fully understood the concept of the sun, a massive life-giving fireball, until her seventh birthday. Before, she had only glimpsed it between wind rustles of the curtains, or as the gardener came in to get his pay. But the day she turned seven, her mother had led her to the garden door. Go out, she said, and see what’s there. She did not move, keeping her back to the door and tensing as if bracing for a blow. Feeling an unfamiliar but keen warmth from beneath the door, L. turned the rusting knob and stepped into the manicured garden. She inhaled, feeling like she had just arrived somewhere far away but inexplicably anticipated.

L. walked along the perfect rows, marveling at colors she had never seen, and savoring the intensity of light on her face. It was almost painfully hot, but as the sun got higher, she felt stronger. When she reached the hedgerows, tyrannically trimmed, so well-planed they looked like verdant marble, she couldn’t resist the urge to lie down on a section. She wanted more of the sun—it was as though she was breathing through her skin, exhaling the years of darkness and taking in a brighter form of oxygen. She aligned her body on the perfectly horizontal hedge and aimed her chin toward the sun. The bush, though masterfully sculpted, was still a shape made of tiny, spiky branches, but despite this, the plant seemed to accept her form. L. lay still as the rays energized her and were finally allowed to reach into her heart and pump revitalized blood through parched, cooled veins.

Since that birthday, L. had rubbed the rust back off the doorknob. She went out more and more frequently for her sun sessions, leaving the cloaked house to offer herself up to the sun. If the three other dark-encased bodies noticed more of a void, they kept silent. L. realized that she might not have lasted long after age seven if her mother had not inexplicably given her a portal. She thought at first she was photosynthetic, but gradually surmised that was not her chemical situation. Her body was camouflaging itself to its thermal surroundings. But only light gave her the power to keep blood flowing through her body, the energy to keep moving. Possessing neither tail nor scales, her body had nonetheless revealed its reptilian rhythms.

As the coordinates of her life began to shift, so did the garden. The gardener abandoned his plants to a need for greater illumination, and his former kingdom began to bud in glorious revenge. The roses expanded their reach and inaugurated new colors in every blossom. Trees bore fruit L. had never seen before. Hummingbirds dipped in and out of shockingly large and fragrant flowers. Green reigned, but L.’s hedge kept adhering to her shape. The vines spread all around her as she took in the necessary rays, but her perch remained constant. While she cooked, she kept her nearly closed eyes on the mountain looming over the south wall, perhaps a few hours’ walk in the direction of the sea. She began to use it as her sundial.

On a day of intense sunshine, L. was finding it hard to get her fill. Usually the sun did not fail her. She had made sure to soak in the peak hours of light, and pivoted like a sunflower according to the brightest part of the sky. But her blood still felt like sludge in her veins, her skin still pricked with goosebumps. She had to harness that energy, but it wasn’t coming though as before. She rolled herself off the hedge and looked for a small glint through the thriving leaves of the jungle garden. If vines hadn’t enveloped and built a wall of their own over it, the gate could lead her out. L. hadn’t thought to leave her sun sanctuary, but her heat-seeking heart flared for sustenance. She felt through the climbing mandevilla and moonflower until her hands found a latch woven over with the thin but sinewy stems. Carefully, so as not to expend too much energy, she began to pry off the robust vegetation.

The reawakened garden had helped her find the sky, and the light it gave, but she needed higher ground. She had to get closer to the source. What little color she had been able to glean that day was already retreating form her cheeks. Tearing more stems and flowers from the gate, L. knew she would have to go to the mountain. Finally, she prised the vines from the gate and pushed the neglected hinge open. Southto the sea, north to the sun. Climbing the mountain would bring her that much closer to her star of worship. Losing heat, L. stopped to press her body against the bigger rocks that she passed. She wondered if she would make it by nightfall. At least there was a funicular to bring her nearer the summit once she reached the mountain. From curtained abyss to greening garden to a mountaintop, L. began to think she might sprout wings next. She slipped into a narrow space between two tall rocks to rest.

* * * * *

This week, we’re featuring a new collaboration between photographer Naama Sarid, whose work we’ve featured in the past. Naama has been kind enough to share her work with some of our other contributors, and they have been writing and creating based on her wonderful photography. This piece is inspired by Exposure № 072: Mariposa. See Naama Sarid’s other Snake-Oil Cure contrubutions here.

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Claire Brindley lives in Washington, DC, where she walks herself silly in search of the unknown. Her other contributions to Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.

Exposure № 072: Mariposa

This week, we’re featuring a new collaboration between photographer Naama Sarid, whose work we’ve featured in the past. Naama has been kind enough to share her work with some of our other contributors, and they have been writing and creating based on her wonderful photography.

Stay tuned this week for multiple daily posts. Each day, we’ll post a photo in the morning, and then several pieces inspired by it later in the day.

* * * * *

Naama Sarid-Maleta’ is an architect. She began an intense career as a documentary and conceptual photographer in Madrid (2008) and has contributed to magazines and publications in Europe and Israel. She has participated in numerous exhibitions in Ukraine, Spain and Israel. Her sustained challenge as an artist is the desire to “build dreams” in visual codes. She had developed a scheme of work based on the interaction of enforcement procedures and the organizations of architecture and a conceptual result more expressionistic and plastic in its nature. Her husband is also an architect and photographer from Cuba, and they work as a team with multidisciplinary projections. Her other contributions to Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.


(A fragment by an arrogant and questionable man.)

.
ave you eaten, my dear?
Or are you sulking
with your usual questionable petulance? I adore
you; the first time I climbed Italy I planted
a red ensign, as exotic as your poetrykerchief is.
I wish our relationship even larger, even more unfurled,
until all the hidden stars on your body
split and bear red, breathing orbs
that as I pluck them would faintly allude
to something as crass as electricity, as
subtle as a pure, direct moment formed
into being. Doubt not what is done underneath.
In the magical smallness of privacy, become
naked even more, give me a refusal that
your dark hair must – please! – loosen somehow.
I repeat my questions. In the fragments of your
image sufficient refusal. I rest. My case
not adjudicable. God. God I desire you. Perhaps
is the Mighty Perhaps. I am sludge and water.
A beautiful Italian poet once told me that her
mother had taught her that all Italian women
are either Madonnas or whores. You, in perfect vision,
are either, both, neither, as the sun sets and rises.
Forgive me, my dear. I am a man.
Defined by the waxing of urges.
I melt you in my heat. I wear you,
sewn into my groin.

Under the open sky your prone star.
Under the open day you are limitless . . .

* * * * *

This week, we’re featuring a new collaboration between photographer Naama Sarid, whose work we’ve featured in the past. Naama has been kind enough to share her work with some of our other contributors, and they have been writing and creating based on her wonderful photography. This piece is inspired by Exposure № 071: Portrait of an Hysterical Murder. See Naama Sarid’s other Snake-Oil Cure contrubutions here.

* *

Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke is an Australian poet who lives in Townsville, Queensland. One of his present projects is a MS titled Five Faves, Five Least Faves. When it is finished, it will comprise one hundred dedicated poems, for one hundred people, who will each have given Michael their five favourite, and five least favourite, words. He weaves all ten of them into that person’s poem. Feel invited to take part. E-mail him your words to michael(dot)fitzgeraldclarke(at)gmail(dot)com. He blogs here.  If Michael could have just one wish, he would give the wish away. His other contributions, and guest-editorship at Snake-Oil Cure, are here.

Foggy Lines in the Cityscape

.
he giant monster of steel and steam
screamed his desperation to leave out it place, far away. The smoke was white, very white and drew some puzzles in the back of the station. Since very early in the evening passengers were squeezed between the platform and the long line of wagons; it was a beautiful train, long and with armchairs upholstered in emerald green silk. She was not where she was supposed to be. She did not want to be here.
<> Your Excellency,  can you tell us where you were yesterday afternoon? Where and for how long, please? Please?
Lord Konrad stared at the mirror in front of him, with its smooth edges nonetheless a very good job, almost like the dress she loved to wear, simple and predictable, as an informal farmer style, inconvenient for these complex environments of town. There is nothing beyond the mirror except the discrete effect of their own sadness and pain. Because there is pain in the shame of knowing alone with oneself, without the warm caress that a woman in a pure state knows how to deliver.
<> Please, say what you know! Do not make us wait any longer! Do not you understand that His Excellency should collaborate?!
Many drops of light as mysterious stars in distant skies came to him, face to face. It was a paradise of tiny flowers in her hands, and hidden breasts like a warm home. A home between the hills around an anonymous castle so far away of here. “I am not who I am… or was she who finally has been and I did not see it. I’m just a trace in the history, in time… And she is gone…” These are thoughts born in a chair, face to face with destiny.
<> I did not see… or must say that I saw it, but it was only like the poorest remembrance of the beautiful woman who had been.
I did not kill her! I swear! She had taken in her hands the will to change their fate. Why? I do not know or do not want to know anyway. For Love? Cowardice? No, no no! 
ha! ha! ha! ha! [An hysterical laughter hinted their misery] SHE only wanted to run a heavy punishment, to ME, to this man sitting in that gray station. SHE wanted to carve his own memory with pain in my soul. And SHE did, I know deeply that SHE did to ME.
* * * * *

This week, we’re featuring a new collaboration between photographer Naama Sarid, whose work we’ve featured in the past. Naama has been kind enough to share her work with some of our other contributors, and they have been writing and creating based on her wonderful photography. This piece is inspired by Exposure № 071: Portrait of an Hysterical Murder. See Naama Sarid’s other Snake-Oil Cure contrubutions here.

* *

Conrado Sarid-Maleta’ is a Cuban photographer and painter. He left his home country six years ago, and has not returned. Most recently, he has lived and worked in Europe, and is now in Tel Aviv, Israel. He learned photography with the help of a great Cuban artist, later continuing alone and working very hard to increase day by day what he knew. Mainly, his works use the visual experience as a means to connect with ideas rather than with techniques or methodological processes. He prefers to be a storyteller rather than a perfectionist. His other contributions to Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.

Exposure № 071: Portrait of an Hysterical Murder

This week, we’re featuring a new collaboration between photographer Naama Sarid, whose work we’ve featured in the past. Naama has been kind enough to share her work with some of our other contributors, and they have been writing and creating based on her wonderful photography.

Stay tuned this week for multiple daily posts. Each day, we’ll post a photo in the morning, and then several pieces inspired by it later in the day.

* * * * *

Naama Sarid-Maleta’ is an architect. She began an intense career as a documentary and conceptual photographer in Madrid (2008) and has contributed to magazines and publications in Europe and Israel. She has participated in numerous exhibitions in Ukraine, Spain and Israel. Her sustained challenge as an artist is the desire to “build dreams” in visual codes. She had developed a scheme of work based on the interaction of enforcement procedures and the organizations of architecture and a conceptual result more expressionistic and plastic in its nature. Her husband is also an architect and photographer from Cuba, and they work as a team with multidisciplinary projections. Her other contributions to Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.

Floating in a Most Peculiar Way

.
he stars were invisible
, blanched out by the towering neons and the lights that shone indifferently into every corner of Show City.

She turned her gaze down again, wary of being noticed. The day had finished at 8pm, and offices were disgorging men and women whose dour faces and regularity of step turned the sidewalks into little more than conveyor belts. Across the street there were a few outsiders—their hair long or their faces dark—but on the whole, there was little to tell one from the other.

Natasha took every stride as though she were in a Western. ‘Flinty’ was the adjective she was trying to embody. She thought verbally; always had. So it was inevitable that she used words as her armor, that she projected them outward to hold the lights and the glass and the people at bay.

They moved in near-silence until a small group of them peeled off toward the right. Fog lights burned in the alleys between the towers, and blinded Natasha as they neared the elevator. There was no way she could know if he was here. The faces of her companions were whited out in a halogen glow. The elevator, waiting stoically, swallowed them and took them to the shuttle above.

She did as instructed and held back while the others crowded in. Still no sign…

Then, as the shuttle doors kissed shut, a man’s face peered from the other end of the platform and caught her gaze. He turned away from the shuttle so that the people inside could not see his face. Deep wrinkles contrasted with pitch black hair, and Natasha realized why they had christened him ‘Reagan’.

In two steps he had looped his arm around hers and drawn her away from the shuttle. Some of the faces inside fizzled into life, and fingers pressed against the glass as they noticed the couple who had remained on the platform.

They had already pushed through an emergency exit, were listening to their footsteps echo against the concrete stairwell, when he said: “Natasha?”

“Yes”, she replied, and fumbled the piece of paper out of her pants pocket. Reagan glanced at it and released her. He said something; something her brain interpreted as ‘hurry‘.

Soon, the regulated air of Show City hit their cheeks, and they began pushing their way against the tide of people on the sidewalk.  The neons blurred, and crowds parted. A low, rumbling siren summoned black-clad security officers, but Natasha focused only on Reagan’s box-shaped outline. They reached a sign that read ‘South Station’, and he helped her vault a rusted gate. Descending toward a half-buried turnstile, they climbed further away from the blinding lights above. They were underground. Beneath the city.

A train waited; one Natasha remembered from her childhood. As she and Reagan tumbled inside, she finally exhaled.


he pool was still full
, and a handful of the underwater lights still burned, backlighting the water so that it glowed invitingly.

Reagan and the others were inside, but she felt alone. Comparatively, she was. Close to seven million people lived within the walls of Show City, but here, on the outskirts, there were mere hundreds. She gazed into the water and wondered why there were no pools in the city. No lakes or oceans, no bathtubs even.

The small house he had brought her to was a constellation of rotten wooden beams and red bricks. Pipes had tumbled from the ceilings, but the hearth that been built in one corner of the first floor kept them warm with tree branches and old newspapers. Soon she would have to relocate but for now, at least, she was free.

‘Free’, Natasha thought. She projected the word outward.

Stepping closer, she pulled her shirt over her head and slipped her shoes and pants off, tossing them to the ground. The aquamarine glow, interrupted only by the occasional leaf, was too hard to resist. She crouched and slipped easily into the pool, a rush of water cocooning her.

The stars looked very different out here. Their light shone brilliantly. Light from thousands, even millions of years ago, still visible in the dark charcoal sky. Closing her eyes, she sculled softly with her hands, staying afloat by instinct .

* * * * *

This week, we’re featuring a new collaboration between photographer Naama Sarid, whose work we’ve featured in the past. Naama has been kind enough to share her work with some of our other contributors, and they have been writing and creating based on her wonderful photography. This piece is inspired by Exposure № 070: Floating Memories. See Naama Sarid’s other Snake-Oil Cure contrubutions here.

Exposure № 070: Floating Memories

This week, we’re featuring a new collaboration between photographer Naama Sarid, whose work we’ve featured in the past. Naama has been kind enough to share her work with some of our other contributors, and they have been writing and creating based on her wonderful photography.

Stay tuned this week for multiple daily posts. Each day, we’ll post a photo in the morning, and then several pieces inspired by it later in the day.

* * * * *

Naama Sarid-Maleta’ is an architect. She began an intense career as a documentary and conceptual photographer in Madrid (2008) and has contributed to magazines and publications in Europe and Israel. She has participated in numerous exhibitions in Ukraine, Spain and Israel. Her sustained challenge as an artist is the desire to “build dreams” in visual codes. She had developed a scheme of work based on the interaction of enforcement procedures and the organizations of architecture and a conceptual result more expressionistic and plastic in its nature. Her husband is also an architect and photographer from Cuba, and they work as a team with multidisciplinary projections. Her other contributions to Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.

A Magic Forest in the Room

7:00 hours in a morning of blue lights and long red shadows;
are also the hours of silent magic without words just a song.
There is a thick forest of columns and in the memory: a roof of waters,
no secret corners; almost harmonious at every glance, in every planet.

On either side of her, stories drawn from ancient times come;

so old legends that no one remembers, even though everyone knows.

It is the “maker of mysteries“, a snowy face and kisses of sugar cotton;
is here and there, sitting at herself, dreaming of a new and happy world.

It is time for the Gods’ breakfast

here in the darker magic forest.
* * * * *

This week, we’re featuring a new collaboration between photographer Naama Sarid, whose work we’ve featured in the past. Naama has been kind enough to share her work with some of our other contributors, and they have been writing and creating based on her wonderful photography. This piece is inspired by Exposure № 069:A Magic Forest in the Room. See Naama Sarid’s other Snake-Oil Cure contrubutions here.

* *

Conrado Sarid-Maleta’ is a Cuban photographer and painter. He left his home country six years ago, and has not returned. Most recently, he has lived and worked in Europe, and is now in Tel Aviv, Israel. He learned photography with the help of a great Cuban artist, later continuing alone and working very hard to increase day by day what he knew. Mainly, his works use the visual experience as a means to connect with ideas rather than with techniques or methodological processes. He prefers to be a storyteller rather than a perfectionist. His other contributions to Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.