I must confess, I’m a sucker when it comes to colourful patterns. I think I’m attracted to the challenge of creating order and coherency out of what could be disarray and mayhem. Perhaps that makes me a bit of a control freak, but frankly, when it comes to my photography, I think I probably am!
You can’t really get more orderly than ‘Follow the Yellow Brick Road’ – three panels, all the same, three primary colours, all aligning.
It started out very simply with three folded pieces of paper. I remember the sun was streaming in through a window in my piano studio and there was a patch of bright sunlight on the carpet. I arranged the pieces of paper on the floor so there was an interplay of shadows, but also, so there were plenty of opposing angles with the folds.
After cropping out the unnecessary and distracting edges, and enhancing the colours, I was left with “what next?” As an image by itself, it was interesting enough, but I felt a lot more could be accomplished with some creative playing.
Changing the orientation made all the difference. I could start to see the potential for a pathway leading upwards. They yellow paper really stood out and provided the inspiration for the title.
A couple of years went by, and, for some reason which I’ve long forgotten, I went back into the ‘Follow the Yellow Brick Road’ folder on my computer. I decided to try out some different crops and, simplifying the elements even further, chose a very restricted format containing just two colours.
Deciding I liked the blue and yellow selection better, I set about the same process of flipping and rotating the three images until I came up with something I liked.
‘Paper Stairway’ was the result. Interestingly, one of my friends pointed out that you can only move up and down the blue stairs.
As it turns out, there was yet more to discover with these little two-colour crops – the base image for ‘Yellow Brick’ just kept on giving! Preparing to write this blog post saw me delve into ‘Yellow Brick’s’ folder again and I was reacquainted with my mini selections.
Now I was really determined to push the boat out – I decided to challenge myself and create a larger multi-panel piece which would include both the blue and yellow, and the green and yellow images. With reckless ambition and a rush of blood to the head, I was determined to have nine panels – an enneaptych (and yes, I did have to look that up!)
After much playing about, which I actually really do enjoy, I created ‘Ascension Blue’.
Like ‘Paper Stairway’, these Escher-inspired stairs also coalesce around the blue steps in the middle panels.
Humble pieces of paper have proved to be fertile ground for my triptychs. If you’d like to explore further and see a variety of ‘paper’ triptychs please check out: