Important Note: We do not see each others photographs before they are chosen. This is one of my favourite elements of the project, seeing the difference or more often than not, the connection.
If there are only 2 photographs it is my collaborator’s photographs on the right with mine on the left.
3:328 – On my own
Me / Victoria Hemminghaus:
A free spirit, an adventurer, an uplifter and kind soul.
Me by Gabriela: I have a feeling Victoria and I met in our very first week at Edinburgh University, though I wish I could remember how it was we first started talking. There are some people who cross your path in life that you feel an instant connection with and affection for – though I imagine few people can resist Victoria’s mega-watt smile and sense of humour. I remember her truly relishing dressing up in her chic tweed skirt to confuse the black-clad scruffy students at the Science & Engineering campus, the King’s Buildings (aka the KB kids). I was “Arts” all the way with a very clear sense of direction as to my artistic education which, alas, seems to have got somewhat confused with the passage of time.
Social media gets a pretty bad rap but I for one am thankful to one M. Zukerberg for bringing Victoria back into my life through cheeky comments on a mutual friend’s posts. Shortly after this, Victoria asked me to take part in ‘Side to Side’ and I felt really honoured to do so. It came at a time of emotional upheaval and change, so provided a different and interesting focus. Though not in my usual medium, it was lovely to think about composition again after a long break from painting and to see the coincidences when our photographs appeared together. It was also especially lovely to be in daily contact again, albeit virtually, after more than 20 years! It came to an end all too quickly though…
During the project, I was intensely made aware of the truth of the subtitle “connecting lives”, because it really was the case. For not only is it an artistic project, but also a visual diary of 34 days in the lives of two friends separated by thousands of miles brought together again after many years. It’s something I’ll look back on with great pride.
Me by Jo: Victoria embraces every moment for what it is. If there’s a stunning view, she will immerse herself in it. If there’s a town, she will try to get to the bones of it. If there’s music. she will dance. If there’s a river, she will swim in it. If there’s a log fire, she will grab her pyjamas and get cosy beside it. If there’s a friend, she will squeeze them and love them. And if there’s a party…. well Victoria is the person you want at your party. Always has been, always will. Victoria has tried her hand at many a thing – but only passion for her work or art will keep Victoria bound. I’ve seen a fair few photos over the past 32 years, and her photography is something special so I love this latest project. I hope the passion for it holds and grows.
Jennifer Moss: Day 3:294 – 327 ‘Close up’
I first met Jennifer when I couch surfed at her house in Nashville. I was on my way to Alabama and Jennifer had just moved to Nashville to study something to do with eyes and children. We hit it off and she then stayed with us, once, then came back for more including one of the best New Years Eve parties. She is a beauty outside, inside, past and future. She is originally from India but like me understands the role and importance of worldwide living, an education above them all. She is a sparkling, bright human being, interesting, fun, relaxed, sensible, adventurous, playful and kind. Her positivity shines and I am glad she is by my side right now doing this photography blog with me. Our theme this month is ‘Close up’….
Day 3:182 – Day 3:250 Trine Winther Anderson ‘Looking Down’ and then we continued with ‘Looking Up’
I had heard about Trine before I met her. Then a mutual friend asked if she could rent my spare room for a snowboard holiday in Val d’sere, France. She did and we clicked. A very funny time followed – snowboarding and partying, listening to Miriam Makeba’s click song, laughing so much and crying about a past tragedy. A couple of years later I moved to Copenhagen, Denmark and Trine was definitely instrumental in that. We lived in an amazing original farmhouse just past Christiania for a summer. We cycled everywhere, ate, drank, danced and became life long friends. Trine is a beautiful blend of fragile, titanium, philosophical, thoughtful, wild, sophisticated, funky and fearless. Her sense of style is quirky and chic, she is cultured, fearless, well traveled, an incredible back country snowboarder and oozes this gentle calmness. I want her in my life forever. And not only because she is my favourite and funniest dance partner.
Day 3:145 – 3:181 Photographic diary on my own
3:111 – 144 Maria Lucia di Pasquali
I met Maria Lucia in Copenhagen, Denmark. We both worked at Cafe Holberg, a legend of a place, a cosmopolitan cafe / bar / creative meeting spot just by Nyhavn, the famous canal that comes into the very centre. Maria Lucia is Italian, very funny, lively, studied economic development, and is her family’s youngest yet most responsible member. A famous danish writer upholds her as a modern feminist of great courage and flair. He talked about her with fire in his eyes. She arrived a day late for my ‘not a hen weekend’ and we partied at mine like there were 15 people there. She is unique, brave, well travelled and I strongly believe has some of her most powerful chapters still to come.
3:77 – 3:110 Gabriela Denny
I went to the University of Edinburgh with Gabby. We got to know each other early on during a weekend away in St Andrews. She was super cute, calm with long red straight hair and fluent in Spanish. We lost touch for years. She lives in Seville in Spain and is an incredible classical painter. I really look forward to seeing her because I know she won’t have changed a bit.
Day 2:292 – 3:77 I did it on my own as a photographic diary
Day 2:258 -2:291 with Kirsty Brooks – the first collaborator I asked to do it for the 2nd time.
Kirsty lives in the UK an hour from London where she grew up. She is a true artist creating beautiful glass installations all over Europe. We met in Spanish class at school and bonded over abstract humour, freestyle dancing like no-one /everyone was watching, the Edinburgh festival, the early days of flirting and having Fun. She will make time for you when she has none, she will say yes to everything and be an hour late but will still arrive, she’ll make you a mix tape for an adventure she isn’t even going on, she makes the best cards for something you are celebrating, she knows what is going on in the art world, the music world and many other worlds on top. Whatever medium she would have decided on at Edinburgh Art College she would have excelled in and I feel nothing but love for this clever, generous, talented woman. I seriously believe the only reason her photographs will be in on time is because there is a 6 hour time difference in my favour.
Day 2: 144 – 257 I did it on my own, like a diary in photographs
Agne Gediminskaite – Day 2:111 – 144
Agne is from Lithuania and lives in Copenhagen, Denmark. We met while studying Danish together there. Those classes were such fun, the teachers were great and we were all immigrants from across the world learning Danish and being supportive to one another. It was a really good feeling of camaraderie. Agne was studying video game design and I loved that this little quiet girl wasn’t afraid to come and study in another country where English wasn’t her first language, in a predominantly male career. Kick ass in a delicate package she has now been paid to design video games for 6 years. We have stayed in touch on social media and I have been thoroughly enjoying seeing her photographs so asked if she would like to collaborate on here. ‘Structure’ is our theme. I’m already excited to see the contrast and parallels across the world from Missouri to my beloved Denmark.
Matthew Christian Hemminghaus: Day 2:76 – 2:109
A proper man with a beautiful scruffy appearance, a heart of organic goodness, blue slate eyes that reflect the sky and with one of the kindest, most sensitive souls. He affects me physically, makes me want to be a better human and is so capable and so creative in every aspect of life that he could make every single dream I ever have possible. He owns the dance floor (unusual for a tall person) lives life thoughtfully, is rawly authentic, is excellent at impressions but shy so I’m the only one who gets to hear them. Matthew is a woodsman, an artist, a wildlife habitat maker, a mechanic, a plant grower, a chef…. He is my anchor holding onto my ankles as I float like milkweed seed. I hope I’m the wind he needs to sail successfully through life. We are the yin to each others yang. I love him. And now, quite excitingly….he’s my collaborator while I housesit in Chicago and he protects our treasured homestead.
Julie Quintero: Day 1:344 – 2:13
I met Julie at my husband’s art college reunion. She’s a warrior who juggles a houseful of boys with a new career as an art teacher as well as making her own art and taking on projects at home that even someone with time wouldn’t manage. She has a thirst for good cocktails, is up for fun when we come to town, has a funny sense of humour and a pretty dirty laugh. Julie is a tall, beautiful tomboy. I like her a lot.
Shawn Harris – Day 1:308 – 341
We met on the art circuit in America. He was tall with a very long beard. He then started trimming and trimming until he was no longer hairy. He is becoming hairier again now as we approach winter and I am happy about that. Shawn’s a photographer who likes to create surreal scenes with the use of props and furtive imagination. He’s a gentle giant whose company I thoroughly enjoy. Each time I see him he makes me feel significant. He’s interested and interesting. Of course I want to spend time with him. I believe we will be friends for a long time.
Antonia Hardiman: Day 1:274 – 1:307
One of my oldest and dearest friends, we bonded over Indian curry, inter-railed our way way round southern Europe and in later years she was the reason I spent very happy chapters in the West country (England). She introduced me to the chic brilliance of the boot (a life changer) studied art in London and Bristol and in recent years has used her creative bones to decorate the interiors of properties in and around London. She is unknowingly elegant, has a beautiful sense of style, and I strongly believe, a big chapter of creating art ahead of her. One of my favourite things in life is making Antonia laugh.
What she said about the experience: “loved it”
Brian Schuth: Day 1:240 – 1:273
Chicago based musician, artist and cabinet maker for high end Italian watches, Brian is the first man going Side to Side with me. We met at Freakfest a little music festival in Illinois a few years ago, where he was playing bass with The Syrup Eddies. When he’s not kicking ass on the bass and singing, he’s pretty quiet but when he does speak it is with very funny humour, perfectly timed. Brian is lovely, gentle, great fun to be with and always regrets not swimming with me in the lake when I visit Chicago. I’m so pleased he has agreed to do my blog and I’m already seeing ‘Geometry’ (our theme) everywhere I look. Perhaps 2017 is the year he jumps in that lake with me and we float on our backs admiring the Chicago skyline together……
Ella Richards aka Scissors Drawings: Day 1:206 – 1:239
I met Ella on the art fair circuit. She’s diddy in size with a craving heart and a fragile soul. A talented artist originally from Russia with a story of survival that would make you wide eyed. She lives in New York and makes her art (no colours involved) and travels the country giving hugs and moving people with her sensitive work. She enjoys me lightening her life with my teasing, playful nature. I think. Our theme is the intersection of man and nature. I’m already enjoying our 34 days together.
Day 1:179 – 1:205 on my own. Like a diary of early Summer 2017
Lisa Telling Kattenbraker: Day 1:140 – 1:178
We met at Jazz Fest, New Orleans. I was helping my friend with her jewelry booth as she was bulging with baby, Lisa was exhibiting with her batik art as well and we were all sharing a house for the week with other equally kind and caring people. It goes down in my history for being a very special, fun and bonding time. Since then we have stayed in touch and she has been there when I needed to talk. Lisa lives in Washington State and I live in the Mid West so when we find out we have an art fair together we eat, laugh, debate our tribulations and become firmer sisters. She is a beautiful soul, a hard working mother, a passionate environmentalist, great fun to be around and I am so proud to have her as my friend.
Jackie Brooks: Day 1:106 – 1:138
Older sister of my close friend Kirsty Brooks who previously collaborated on Side to Side with the theme ‘Light’. When I was in the UK last Autumn I ended up going on an epic road trip with Kirsty all over the south west of England. We stayed with Jackie, who I hadn’t seen for probably 24 years (ouch) drank cocktails, ate wood fired pizza and went to a Louise Bourgeois exhibition at a gallery where she works. Jackie used to live in London and design theatre sets. She escaped to the Somerset hills many years ago and now designs intricate and elaborate paper cuts. She giggles a lot and has a good sense of mischief…which I understand.
359 days to one year 105 days – just me. Solo photo-ing.
I didn’t organise a partner for the winter 2016/2017 but have been enjoying the solo time. It turned into a diary of my visuals each day which was calming and at a time when I finally felt grounded living over here in the States. It is nearly five years and has taken some time, (im)patience and learning. Satisfying now. Harder than I thought but I have never played an instrument so didn’t know what it is like to practice and learn and only then to be able to play beautiful music.
TIFFANY OWNBEY: DAY 325 to 358
Tiffany lives in a beautiful log cabin that her grandfather and great grandfather built deep in the woods of North Carolina close to where she grew up. In these woods she creates weird and wonderful paper-mâché sculptures and travels the length and breadth of the United States selling them at art fairs where I was lucky enough to meet her. She’s a warrior; a strong, beautiful, funny, caring, loyal and considerate artist who I am so happy and relieved to have met. She has kept me sane when I thought I was losing my mind and I trust her implicitly. I wish we lived closer so I could pop round often for a natter and a drink. I’m looking forward to the next 34 days, our first collaboration together. I know it’s going to be fun.
KIRSTY BROOKS: DAY 290 to 324
Kirsty lives in the UK an hour from London where she grew up. She is a true artist creating beautiful glass installations all over Europe. We met in Spanish class at school and bonded over abstract humour, freestyle dancing like no-one /everyone was watching, the Edinburgh festival, the early days of flirting and having Fun. She will make time for you when she has none, she will say yes to everything and be an hour late but will still arrive, she’ll make you a mix tape for an adventure she isn’t even going on, she makes the best cards for something you are celebrating, she knows so what is going on in the art world, the music world and many other worlds on top. Whatever medium she would have decided on at Edinburgh Art College she would have excelled in and I feel nothing but love for this clever, generous, talented woman. I seriously believe the only reason her photographs will be in on time is because there is a 6 hour time difference in my favour.
277 – 289: I did it on my own with “Wood” as the theme.
ELLIE VIOLENTRED RUSINOVA: Day 243 to 276
Ellie is originally from Bulgaria / Russia but has been living in the USA the majority of her life. She lives in Denver, Colorado making and teaching art. I don’t know her very well but she warmly welcomed me into her home and that kind generosity in this world is something that I also give and highly value. It was very easy spending time with her and I look forward to knowing her better. When Ellie approached me about doing this I immediately wanted to. I think we feel a link of being foreign and living in this country. I needed her encouraging energy. She’s a sweetie.
218 – 242 : Did it on my own for a while. “Home Sweet Home” is the theme as we just arrived back from a month of traveling and art festivals round the country. All good but magical to be back home.
TANJA PIRNESKOSKI: Day 184 to 217
Tanja is from Finland and lives in Copenhagen, Denmark. We met at Danish lessons while I was living there. She is a gentle soul with lots of freckles and beautiful green eyes. Tanja is kind and sensitive, creative and delicate, fun yet also lonesome. She is motherly, warm and welcoming with an artistic taste that I can’t wait to see in her photographs.
ELLIE PICKLES: Day 149 to 182
We met while working on the Antiques Roadshow at the BBC in Bristol, England. It makes me chuckle just thinking about it. Antiques and antics, boozy nights in posh hotels with the experts and a split team – half cool, half not so. Ellie is ace. Positive, smiley, chattery, down to earth, genuine, funny and someone I would turn to if I needed some straight up advice. I really miss the barbeque days we had in Bristol. She still lives in Bristol, UK and has her hands full with 2 nippers. Ellie comes up with amazing ideas for children’s television programmes which the BBC then takes all the credit for. But we know it was the one, the only, Ellie Pickles.
At the end she said: “It’s been a pleasure Lady Pullar xxx”
HENRI ALLEN: Day 114 to 147
I met this funny, adventurous lady on a sailing trip in the Greek Islands. She had friends, I had friends and we all went sailing. Me and she clicked immediately and would swim for an hour nattering around the boat, when we stopped sailing for lunch. That week was one of the best holidays I’ve enjoyed. So much laughter, good food, learning of new skills and sunny days. I helped pack up her books when she moved away from Geneva. I later went to visit her in Cambodia. She looked after me, gave me wine and sent me off in different directions of the country and I would return with tales of weird massage experiences and my limited interest in temples. Henri came to visit me here at the farm and it was so refreshing to share with someone of my mindset, this little pocket of the Midwest. She is very capable, warm, wise and has a wonderful sense of mischief. Henri lives and works in Myanmar and is very rubbish at regular communication so I am a little wary of the next 34 days…..
MARGIE CRINER: Day 80 to 113:
My darling met this wonderful lady at an art fair in St Louis. Their paths crossed very briefly but luckily a mutual spark of friendship happened and a pile of beautifully crafted belt buckles were forgotten, so they stayed in touch. I told the US embassy in London that I had to get my visa in time to see Margie play at a little private festival in Illinois and flew back to join the fun in a field and meet this lady and her crew. We had the same immediate easy bond and I now consider her one of my closest confidantes and funnest playmates. She’s warm, talented, wise and centered.
Margie lives in Chicago, USA makes art and plays music.
What does Margie think of it so far…..? “They are all just blowing my mind. I love it. So fun. I love the moment when I see them together and said mind goes PKKKKOOOMMMBF.”
Day 66 – 80: I did it on my own for a while until I sorted out the next contributor and decided on a theme. Jo went awol. I was relaxed.
JO SHUTTLEWORTH: Day 34 to 65
My best buddy since we were 11. Lives on the south coast of England. There would be more to come on that piece of trouble if she actually responded to my requests for a short bio…it seems she has left it to me.
Jo is strictly fair, fooled me for 20 years by saying things confidently making me believe she was sure, has the worst case of baby brain I’ve ever experienced (pre babies she could remember everything). She is passionate about food (especially savoury pies), travel and juggles more metaphorical balls calmly than I can imagine. If she went on The Apprentice, she’d win. She makes her rules and they’re good ones. She’s a writer, mother, lover, dancer, chef as well as running a travel company. Jo lives on the south coast of England, is crap in the morning and hates milk.
SUZANNE LANE: Day 1 to 34
Who I went to Central America with and lives in New Zealand. She couldn’t give me her bio because she’s “off now to one of my 3 parties this weekend” but did say I could start her bio with;
“She always thinks she’s right….”
And is Suzanne enjoying the experience…?
“Yeah I’m really enjoying it. I feel like I notice more around me because I’m always on the look out for something interesting or pretty or even ugly! I was wanting mine to be more artistic than they are but I’ve realised its not really about that. I take them where I am, doing what I am doing so they aren’t always going to be artistic. Like today’s. I was on the golf course and came across some ducks (actually came across some gorgeous brightly coloured parakeets but couldn’t get a decent photo of them) so it’s kind of like a pictorial diary …. it’s cool.”