Caro Higgs – Photoshoot
Shadows of the past
Inspiration: In this area where I live it was mussels which helped to form the character of the area, and which still exist in the shallow waters of the bay today
I have stayed with my theme of my coastline but moved away from the ‘carrelets’ with their high water shrimp nets which line sections of the coastline. There are many ‘bouchots’ (oak poles upon which mussels develop) out in the bay barely visible at high tide but which come in their own when the tide goes out. Today mechanical means are used for transporting the mussels but that wasn’t always the case. This image is a reminder of bygone times and the hardships endured working in wet and cold conditions. This image is on an information board along the coastal path, the quality isn’t great but the shadowy outline of those working and posing in front of the camera makes it easy to imagine how difficult the work was.
I printed my photograph on to voile which I then placed on a hand painted cotton background, I added additional fabric under the clothing to add some slight colour. The whole was then machine stitched with synthetic threads to give a slight watery glisten. The banks of mussels were hand stitched to give texture to the piece, the stitching was deliberately slightly loose. I left the figures as almost shadows to keep an an anonymous feel to the photograph not wanting the intrusion which can arise from photo shoots. I feel that the colours are very subdued but then images of that age were often in sepia…
Detail showing the hand and machine stitching: