OK. So... I've just uploaded two new pictures
of Ruth (and her frind Kami). The two pictures share almost the same title and are really exploring the same subject. But they're not just variations (like the recent Ruth dances pics). They're actually quite different pictures. So, why are
there two of them..?
I thought it might be interesting to give a hint of how a picture comes into being from an idea, and in this case how that idea can be depicted in different ways, and how sometimes an idea can not quite work out but can spark another picture or a picture be tweaked to better portray the original idea.
'That was then. This is now.
' started with me wanting to show what Ruth used to look like before whatever happened to her happened. I didn't want to just do a picture with a 'pre-happening' Ruth, though. Too easy. And perhaps a bit dull. On one of the previous Ruth pictures El-Loco asked whether I might do a picture which showed her 'before and after' like I did for Karen in 'Ghosts
' and that was exactly the idea I had in mind. By now, thanks to Tomalee, we knew she'd been a dancer (still is!) so I thought I'd put together a picture of her 'now' with a portrait or photo of her 'then', perhaps performing, which would not only show her face but could also be a poignant revelation of the big change she's undergone.
So I thought about it some more and the seeds of 'That was then. This is now.' germinated. What you see in the first picture is pretty much the original idea - Ruth 'looking' at herself on the poster. I was taken with the idea that I could show her in a physical attitude of 'looking' (which she obviously can't do any more) which would indicate her internal imagination at work - she adopts the pose of 'looking' even though she (unlike us) is only 'seeing' the poster internally...
Well, it sounds complicated when I try and explain it! And it proved to be so in the execution too. And, to be honest, although I think I've captured what I originally set out to do, as I went on with the picture it never quite came together. It's a pretty good rendition of the original idea, but I'm not completely convinced that the idea is right, in that it doesn't really show that 'external / internal' parallel clearly enough. I worry that people will look at it and just say 'well, she can't possibly see the poster, so why is she 'looking' at it?'.
Maybe it works. Maybe it doesn't. You can probably tell better than I can! The point is that while I was struggling with it and trying to make it work I had another (perhaps better) idea of how to use the poster. Hence the second picture.
I'd been thinking about what I could do with Ruth and Kami in the later 'chapters' of 'A Day In Ruth's Life
' and one of the ideas I had was that the ballet company for whom Ruth had been a prima ballerina would do a benefit evening for her with all proceeds going to her rehabilitation and independent living fund. And that Kami and Ruth would be going to that benefit performance as guests of honour in the evening of 'The Day in The Life...'. It would be a very glitzy affair with limos and a red carpet, celebrity guests and the full monty.
I loved the idea of Ruth and Kami getting dressed up, preparing for the evening, working out the logistics of it all so that Ruth could be the guest of honour as independently as possible - getting out of the limo, processing down the red carpet on her own, beautifully dressed and loving every minute of being the centre of attention (even though most of it she wouldn't actually experience directly!). It would be very right for the character that Ruth has become in my mind - a brilliant way for her to demonstrate to the world in no uncertain terms how far she'd come and how independent and capable she still was despite her losses. No carrying. No wheelchair. No compromises. A sister, doing it for herself, never mind the lack of limbs and senses...
So I'd found a way of depicting that red carpet scene (which I really wanted to do) and to show Kami (which I also wanted to do) and
still to show the pre-happening Ruth so everyone knew what she looked like! And that's how 'That was then. This is now. Again.
' came about.
This time it wouldn't be Ruth who was looking at the poster - she couldn't see it anyway and she'd be otherwise engaged, excited, happy and concentrating on getting herself up the red carpet unscathed. This time it would be Kami that would see the old Ruth suddenly, unexpectedly, and I thought it would be really touching if we were reminded of the true immensity of what's happened to Ruth through the eyes and in the reaction of her best friend.
So that's why there are two different pictures of what is basically the same original idea!
Right, now, back to 'Part 3'.