We’re delighted to publish Benamon Tame’s seventeenth 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).
The End of Solitude
‘The End of Solitude’ – ©Benamon Tame
Apis shifted his bulk slightly, his paws gently holding his belly like an expectant mother. Ripples appeared beneath the floral patterned material and the hole in his belly gave way another inch to reveal the source of the movement. Flashes of bristled armour in reds and brown, tiny bodies filled with purpose filling the spaces within.
The movement subsided and Apis settled once more into the half dream that filled his days.
A gentle buzzing filled his mind, interspaced with flashing images and fragmented memories; they had been so close for so long he was almost one of them now. Their thoughts overlapped his, their song washing over him.
Apis was once a Rosie, one of the toys given to every Thorn child on their naming Day and then taken away on their Thorning.
With each generation the habits and idiosyncrasies of the family became more ritualised and entrenched, who they were and who intended to be bound up in word and action.
The Thorning had started when the legitimacy of one of the children had been questioned, on his third birthday the matter had been finally settled so the family had marked the occasion with a formal welcoming to the family and his right to bear the family name. Ever since the third birthday was marked with a second naming ceremony, The Thorning. The culmination of the ceremony was the taking of a toy given at their birth in exchange for the Black Day Dolls. The day marked the start of their duty to the family, an acknowledgement of their place in the family and the time when they must make their first sacrifice for the Family.
Apis was the last Rosie and had felt abandoned far before the others, boxed and hidden after the Thorning only to found as released by Syster on a search for spare parts. Despite his loneliness, Apis could not cope with the busy toy room and climbed away to the rafters to hide and think.
It was tucked away that the Bee’s found him and asked for shelter. Their nest had been lost when the Toy Room had moved and the flowers that patterned Apis had drawn them to him. Almost all of Apis is now Bees as they replaced his stuffing bit by bit with Honeycomb. All that remains is his skin and the little Mystery that holds who he is, the singing Queen curled up around it.
Apis dreams of Bee’s and lives through them, surrendering himself to be part of them, replaying the Thorning and giving up who he might have been to be part of something greater. The other toys have forgotten Apis, only the Black Day Dolls remember.
‘The End of Solitude. Typewriter Remix’ – ©Benamon Tame
The Bee’s explorations have found tiny pathways between the rooms and in one of the rooms next to the Lost Toy Room is the Bouquet Room. The room is filled with a flower for every broken heart, every hopeless love and jilted bride. The Flowers endure and the saddened fields give the Bees bitter nectar the taste of salt and ash.
The story of Apis touches on the sacrifices people make throughout their lives, what they give up to become ‘adults’ and to fit in. It is also about how much can be sacrificed to avoid something.
Apis was inspired by Bees. A migrating swarm descended on the school where I work and was able to spend a large part of the day with them ( keeping the children from getting to close while I got even closer!) and the keeper who came to gather them up. Apis was also named after Bees, Apis is the latin Genus family name for the species while the bear is actually called Rosie and belongs to my youngest daughter.
Apis was one of my early Lost Toys and I was still working on the look for the series. It ended up with a darker textured look, almost like a tapestry. The twist in the image is a subtle one, the odd Bee floating around and then you only notice the Bees in his belly when you really look. In creating Apis I set up the bear and then used juxtaposer to blend some of the shots of Bee’s. I also added several flying shots to give the final portrait more dynamism. I then used ScratchCam, Snapseed and Blender to add grunge to the image.