We’re delighted to publish Benamon Tame’s eighth article to his column PictureBook. In PictureBook Benamon concentrates on the the story behind the image. As Benamon himself describes it: ‘As Photographic artists we do not just capture stories but create them, the journey behind and the image we present. PictureBook draws on Images selected from my own story series but will also look at the work of the other story tellers within the community’.
Don’t miss this uber creative article from Benamon, fabulous piece. Over to you Benamon. (foreword by Joanne Carter).
The sound of stone sliding over stone and something moved that should not have done.
Dust sparkled down and the wall rippled like paper laid on water.
a shape emerged from behind the peeling wallpaper, pushing out the surface before breaching it, a pale hand grasping out in to the air. The hand twitched and fingers moved slowly as if no longer accustomed to such free movement and a second hand appeared.
A head started to crown, the yellowed wallpaper fading to white as the head rose out, and then no more and figure seemed to be caught and slowly pulled back before sinking back impossibly into the wall.
Around where the figure had tried to emerge the surface patterned and moved again, circling the spot, then another outline rose and sunk. Others joined in a ever widening circling and then nothing but the muffled clockwork cries that might have just been in the mind.
Babel watched and gently laid a hand upon the wall, half in envy and half in pity, before walking away.
Most of the Lost Toys come out of my own head but a couple have been inspired by the minds of others, this is one of them.
The lost Toy Series was already in full swing and I had started to build up a wider back story in my head (and in several notes on my iPhone and in a moleskine) and how the escape from the room would be one of the major threads. The Toys had awoke with vestigial memories from their inanimate lives and knew there was a wider world beyond the Door, itself a constant reminder of elsewhere.
For Loki, escape meant expanding his dominion and making it more secure while for some others it meant escape from Loki and his increasingly brutal reign. I had just finished rereading Walkers by Graham Masterton who is one of may favorite Horror writers. His books often have strong supernatural or mythological element and in Walkers ancient Druid magic is used to allow people to merge and travel through stone.
I had plans for the Toys to try a myriad ways to escape and the vision of them sinking into the walls and moving through them like half embedded cherubs was very appealing. The library in the Lost Toy Room has far more books than it should have and maybe the Governess was more than she claimed to be, but the toys found one filled with old rites and used them to try and escape. Freed into the building, the very walls became a new darker prison and now they swim though stone unable to leave or escape. In naming this toy i drew from ancient greek mythology and named her after the daughter of King MInos of Crete. The story of King Minos is the story of the Minotaur and the Labyrinth. Loki is the Minotaur and Ariadne is lost in the Labyrinth of the toy room walls.
For the portrait I wanted it to be subtle, as if this toy hadn’t posed but been caught by accident. Someone looking at the picture might not notice it at first and get the shock when they did. I have ideas for others but for the first I wanted the surprise. In setting his piece up i really wanted to give the image of the Toy actually in the wall and not just obscured by grime or texture.
My initial shot was a doll covered in a wet handkerchief, which I would use to create the strained stone texture and partially mask the doll. The image was then added to the blank wall i used for the portraits and blended in using Blender App. I then opened up Iris Photo Suite and started adding texture with detail selectively removed in the mask option. This allowed me to bring back the detail of the doll as well as differentiate the walls and the floor.