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Work Has Begun

Not only is the unit well on the way to becoming my 'happy place' but Ive started a new project to enter into a competition for Photo North Festival, so once again, it's full steam ahead.

The darkroom has taken up most of my time. Sourcing all the materials at a reasonable price has meant a lot of time at the timber merchants but it's coming together nicely.

The floor was repaired and the walls had a fresh coat of paint which instantly transformed the place. Having decided that the darkroom would be at the top end of the unit, the sink was installed and the floor plan was drafted up. Thankfully, the placement of the electricity conduits work really well for where I want to place the enlargers too so that makes the job a little easier. The unit still reeks of diesel but I'm hopeful that when the conversion is complete and the flooring goes down in the studio end, it will mark the stench somewhat.

The dividing wall is well underway now and the worktop are being fitted. It's slightly slow going as it's family who are doing the work around their full time jobs. This means it's much cheaper as I'm not paying for their labour (except in tea) but also means I have to be patient as obviously this is not their top priority Because of this I'm pushing back my expected finishing date but am still hopeful I'll be in by the end of September.

I'm equal measures terrified and excited by all of this. To finally have my own workspace is going to be incredible. To be able to know your work is safe whilst you wander off to collect the kids, to not have to panic about the settings being altered on the enlarger you're working on, to have no fear that the paper you're using is fogged is going to be amazing but on the flip side, it's a massive commitment to pay the rest and utilities each month. To have that burden on the family knowing that you're unlikely to recoup the money anytime soon is scary as all hell. But I'm using that fear to drive me. Which is why I'm also putting together a whole new project based around Frome in Somerset.

Whilst I've been doing the Masters, I've not been as creative as I'd like. I've been bogged down by all the research and writing so although things are crazy at the moment, I've chosen to convert my terror into this new project and it's felt so good letting the creativity flow. Once I can get back into the college darkroom, I'll finish off My Town, Their Town and hopefully post a sneak peek.

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