We’re delighted to publish Benamon Tame’s thirteenth article to his column PictureBook with us here at theappwhisperer. 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).
Eloise blinked and stared into the darkness.
Night had come to the Toy room and the toys slept, more out of habit than necessity.
Eloise watched over them from atop her box, the sounds of cog and spring, gentle tick and tock carring across the stillness.
She was already half alive when the others woke, her punch card memory moving in strange new patterns, each card now a map of infinite complexity. She cycled through the cards trying to find one that would answer her question.
One had come and called himself Loki, the first to cast off his old name, and with honeyed words moved amongst them and declaring himself their begetter
Fragments of memory slid between her punch cards, sepia dreams at odds with Loki’s words. But she held them close and waited, marking a new card and hiding it deep within her workings should it be needed.
Darkness came to her like a long knife and in it Eloise was undone. Despoiled and divided, her cards taken and her body broken so none might stand against him.
‘Stolen Dreams – Eloise’ – ©Benamon Tame
Before the Lost Toy room I had already visited the Victorian toy room and created Automatic Eloise. My original vision was of an empty bare wooden room with Eloise the only feature. She was given by cold parents to their only child, a clockwork sister that would be teacher and companion, everything they would not be.
I created several variations and even a mock poster, a period piece taken from a newspaper advertising the mechanical marvel!
‘Automatic Eloise. Paper Visions’ – ©Benamon Tame
As I progressed with the Lost Toy Room and a larger back story started to emerge I was reminded of Eloise and looked to bring her into the story.
Loki dominates the story but there was no counter, Eloise the very model of decency and Victorian virtue seemed to fit the bill perfectly.
‘Automatic Eloise. The Clockwork Sister’ ©Benamon Tame
Within the story, the majority of portraits and little stories have been set during the rule of Loki with only his portrait being set after his fall and exile to the corner. Eloise had been mentioned elsewhere but I wanted the first portrait of her to be during his rule, I wanted to show her defeated but hinting at her place as Loki’s rival.
The original piece had been created blending an image of one of my daughters and one of her wooden toys. I always keep the progress shots when I am a building piece so i can go back or refresh myself on the steps and apps I used if I need to (like in this case!) For her new portrait I returned to the initial stages of the first piece and decided I wanted a more worn and damaged figure so I replaced her head with an image from one of the period dolls I had acquired to use with the series. I removed her arm and added wires and piping to show her worn and vandalized. I used a copy of the image with Mirage App and shifted the angle so I could use it on the floor, torn off but then abandoned in superstitious fear.
‘Stolen Dreams. Typewriter Remix’ – © Benamon Tame
Eloise represents the flashes of maturity in children, the words spoken with such certainty and untouched by the rules of society and convention, without care for consequence. She is the calm older sibling who knows and will always be there.
Eloise represented the vision of Victorian science, that the ingenuity of man would open every secret and answer every question. A Progress that would not bring about a revolution and a new order but rather preserve and refine the world as it was. Victorian virtue and morality cast in iron and brass, enshrined and enduring.