CALLY TRENCH

Remarkable and Curious Conversations

Curated by Cally Trench

Steve Perfect: Places

Steve Perfect asked for collaboration on a project that started with a selection of photographs of places. He asked us to look at the pictures, choose one, and write down any memories, reflections or sensations that it evoked.

Steve's photographs on flickr: Places.

Places 107 by Steve Perfect
Steve Perfect, Photo 107

Tineke Bruijnzeels

I'd like to be there, and smell the humidity of the new morning. I want to feel the decay of the dying tree suffocated by ivy. Bushes are invading: their fresh leaves open to let in light and moisture.

Places 111 by Steve Perfect
Steve Perfect, Photo 111

Alex Dewart

In 1969, when I was 10 years old my class was joined together with the year above. The older class members seemed very grown up compared to us and I was befriended by one of these older girls. One Saturday she invited me to her house which was on the other side of town. When I got there she suggested that we go for a walk. I found this walk very unsettling. Although it was across fields, it was at a time of major development in the town. New housing estates were being built as well as roads. On our walk we passed the river but also large areas of dug up ground with large plant machinery and pipework dominating the fields in some parts. Like many of your photos this seemed an inbetween kind of place, not quite country and not quite town. When we got back to my friends house, her father showed me the large scary eels he had caught in the river that afternoon. I declined the offer of tea and hurried back home. For me it was a time of change, being with the older class, going to an unknown part of town with a new friend; and of course as this was Northern Ireland it was the year the Troubles started.

Places 113 by Steve Perfect

Steve Perfect, Photo 113

Lorraine Pepper

Some of the photos remind me of very urban unsatisfactory parks in their developmental stages.

Places 115 by Steve Perfect
Steve Perfect, Photo 115

Sophie Loss

Am amazed that you found this place. I thought it was to be a secret place which we will not tell anyone about. Well years have past and maybe he forgot ... I haven't. Since he told you about it and you have no reason to disbelieve him I can only add that surprisingly the tip of the wing is still visible in between the leaves on the lower left corner. That does raise the question why the blue is nowhere to be seen. This is because it drifted in the canal into the yellow and emerged green! You can test it for yourself...Another point --- the arms which appear so old and tired. Don t be deceived by appearances. They did show then great agility, strength, sensitivity with a hint of lust. I feel the arms still have it in them to thrill both you or I .

Dear Steve, clever people see the past add the present and come up with a long smooth pink ribbon. I think you found it while others like me spin fast on the spot in vertical fashion.

Places 118 by Steve Perfect
Steve Perfect, Photo 118

Lynne Grace

I was drawn to this photograph as water has been a constant theme throughout my work and the stillness of the water reminds me of great barge holidays I have had with girlfriends. I love the reflections of the trees in the water and I am intrigued by the structure in the background. Is it a bridge? A walkway? Pipe holder? The water looks dark and unappealing and I wouldn't like to swim in it!

Places 127 by Steve Perfect
Steve Perfect, Photo 127

Martina O'Shea

Looking at this shot I get a summertime feeling, the smell of fresh cut grass, and a sense of wonder about what's going on behind the green mesh. The main thing that drew me to this shot was the colour. The greens and blues create a sense of calm and beauty.

Joan Skelton Smith

It was very difficult to choose just one of your series of photographs. As a series they reminded me George Shaw's paintings of the housing estate where he grew up, as well as Michael Landy's Nourishment series of etchings of urban weeds. I chose 127 for many reasons. I love the patterns and the layering of images. I like that the framing makes me feel a part of the image, something that I try to achieve with my own work. There is the beauty of the cascading vine at the centre and the mystery of the faint buildings in the far distance. The black vertical pattern in the foreground has the feeling of bars; as if the viewer is in a cage or trapped in 'a secret garden'. When I was a child growing up in Texas my favourite play area was the woods behind my house; these images remind me of the escape and adventure of those experiences.

Daphne Day-Handkammer

I was intrigued by all of your photos, particularly as abandoned and isolated spaces have predominantly featured in my work. Barriers and fenced-off sites evoke a need to know what is beyond. This photo is a reminder of such an occasion, when I allowed my curiosity to get the better of me and ventured beyond the boundary! The fear and adrenalin rise contributed to the experience which ultimately became an exciting discovery. However, unaware at the time, my 'journey' was being captured on CCTV...

Places 130 by Steve Perfect
Steve Perfect, Photo 130

Joanna Hill

I'm sitting on a train, it's 4 hours since I left London.
The landscape slowly transforms before my eyes.
Dense urban concrete and brick open into farmland.
We move in and out of towns, weaving through industrial areas, places that are in-between and forgotten.
Glimpsing into the backs of houses and gardens, canals and waterways, areas still controlled by man.
Places familiar yet not.
Heading north the landscape opens up, to the wild and windswept.
It's warm on the train and I have time to kill, to relax and reflect.
I'm trapped or free in time and space.
Thinking about last week, memories from the past, the year ahead.
Softly nudging between past, present and future.
Thinking about you.
Snow on the ground, trees bare and sculpted by the wind.
Fields, hedges, woodland reaching out into the distance.
The day, the landscape unfolds before me.

Places 131 by Steve Perfect
Steve Perfect, Photo 131

Cally Trench

There was a path between two high walls. I walked along it holding my big brother's hand, with the traffic noises fading behind us and a rectangle of shiny green ahead.

Places 141 by Steve Perfect

Steve Perfect, Photo 141

Philip Lee

This image attracted my attention as soon as I saw it! The tree made me think of the human body (as you might expect - my obsession) - allusions/implications - especially the 'limbs' of trees and people. It reminded me of walking in the woodland of Ashridge near my home and happy times with children climbing & falling all over trees there. The stripped bark section suggested the delicate underbelly - the vulnerable - the ravages of time and people. I tried to understand the life of the tree - how did it come to be this shape - pollarding? other damage and/or nurturing I wonder. It makes me think of a long life, of good and bad happenings but survival none the less - permanence, staying old and alive. I like the contrast between the white railings fence and the gnarled tree branches bows and so on. The comfortable greenery in the foreground with the hidden briars suggesting sinister beneath the surface! The fairy stories of wicked aunts or stepmothers... Is it a tree that is nearly a place to sleep - for an arborial bed - or a place to build a tree house - only just off the ground - a non-tree house tree-house. So much - so exciting so evocative and rich - I love it - I want more.

Places 146 by Steve Perfect
Steve Perfect, Photo 146

Pauline Edwards

I think the reason to begin with was I loved the simplicity and ordinariness of the composition. I liked the way the pink wall complemented the sad little bush and the grey tones of the paving stones complemented the pink wall. However the longer I looked at the photo I began to conjure up in my imagination absurd images. The pink wall became a backdrop in a tacky hairdressing salon, and the sad little bush looked as if it had been given a very bad haircut.

Places 147 by 
Steve Perfect
Steve Perfect,Photo 147

Imogen Welch

When my husband and I were just starting to see each other, there was a period of doubt as we didn't want to ruin a good friendship! He was away for a couple of weeks in Ukraine and spent a lot of time contemplating his future while staring out of train windows looking at silver birches for mile after mile. A couple of months later I was on a trip to Russia and found myself experiencing the same views but from a coach window this time. So started a special feeling for silver birch trees. A couple of years passed and we were living together when my parents moved into a cottage in the middle of Tunstall Forest in Suffolk. It is a small forest with adjacent areas of Common, part of what is locally called The Sandlings. Your image could have been taken there and takes me straight back to the many years of wonderful walks in the forest and on the Common. So silver birches have many associations for me as we spent many happy times in Suffolk, most especially our wedding party, held in my parents' garden. They have the house on the market now, as they feel it will soon be too much for them, so we know that there will be no more trips to the forest: the end of an era.

Places 148 by Steve Perfect
Steve Perfect, Photo 148

Lis Mann

This photo evokes the three things that fascinate me and I don't know why - first a dwelling, second a dwelling in a woodland and thirdly a fence. I have often incorporated these three symbols into my art work and I believe they have a deep meaning for me which I can only recall emotionally, but not in reality.

Brigitte Ritschard

What is inside this box? I'm thinking of Pandora's box. One has opened the box, and now the end is near. There are already traces of disappearance, a dead tree has fallen on the box.

Places 154 by Steve Perfect
Steve Perfect, Photo 154

Claire Deniau

This image is so evocative of the space which is created when travelling by train. A space in between where the mind can wander, a space of transition and freedom. I have experienced that space very often when I was commuting between Paris and London for the MA. And this image sums up all my memories of those journeys: looking by the window, watching the speed, feeling relieved to be away from the outside reality for a while and sometimes wishing that it could last longer.


Steve Perfect
Martina O'Shea
Cally Trench
Lis Mann
Joan Skelton Smith
Philip Lee
Claire Deniau
Alex Dewart
Lynne Grace
Pauline Edwards
Daphne Day-Handkammer
Tineke Bruijnzeels
Imogen Welch
Sophie Loss
Lorraine Pepper
Brigitte Ritschard

Remarkable and Curious Conversations: The Artists

Remarkable and Curious Conversations: The Interactions


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