When Love Breaks Down

In Diary by Alun Kirby

In the little good sunshine we had here in Yorkshire last year, I made a few significant new images.  The first of these is a contact photogram, ‘When Love Breaks Down’.  

The image is large, for a contact photogram, at 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). It was exposed for around 4 days of pretty good sunshine, and has started converting to that lovely golden-green in the background.

Any older viewers out there might remember Paddy McAloon‘s band ‘Prefab Sprout’.  This image is named after their song.

Perhaps this image should have the subtitle ‘Absence Makes the Heart Lose Weight (yeah)’.  I seem to be melancholic even when the sun is shining. It’s a comfort thing, perhaps… but it’s a natural, uncontrived, heartfelt (of course) response to the material I’m imaging, at least.

These leaves are beautiful, and they won’t last long even attached to the stem.  By picking them to image, their life is shortened, and as they die and dry in the frame they shrink and… cry!  Well, they give up their fluids, and it seeps down the paper, washing away the chemicals as it goes and creating some beautifully serendipitous effects.

Most leaves are not fully detailed, some not at all.  This close-up shows a weeping leaf, and the ‘patchy’ exposure which is a result of the subject and not the process.  There are also many holes in the leaves, which can appear blurred since they move as the leaf shrinks as it dries. 

But those feelings and experiences – the holes in one’s heart, the tears on the inside… the heart losing weight… yeah – they are the real inspiration behind this image. In a happy, melancholic way, of course!