To The Gallery & Beyond…

Living a purple life…



I can’t quite believe it, just under a week till I find myself hanging each and every one of my photos in preparation for the exhibition.

With the layout organized and the frames having arrived yesterday, I now face the rather unexciting task of washing and drying all seventeen of sheets of glass.  I shouldn’t really say that it’s unexciting as it will all go towards the final masterpiece.  As they say, ‘It’s all about the journey, not the destination’.

It may not be a masterpiece but I am so, so proud of this project.  A lot of people and places have been involved in this process.  I probably owe my greatest thanks to my mum and bestie, Katie.  When I was in England visiting they were both on the lookout for all things purple.  Arms were flying in all directions to get my attention for yet another object which was full of purpleness.

It’s been really difficult narrowing down which photographs to use as they’re so unique in their own ways.  When capturing them on camera it made me realize just how many purple things surround us and how many shades of the color there are.  This is a perfect example of the message I am conveying that there are so many people around us with epilepsy and there are so many variations of the same theme.

I have explained how this idea unfolded way back from its conception through to the present (see Fundraising With Cake? Yes Please!), and upon looking back I can see the links which have arisen.

I began experiencing side effects from the various medications from September onwards.  I now believe that the epilepsy began rearing its (not ugly, let’s say plain) head as a result of all the drug changes that had been well controlled prior to that.  The irony is that the tremors in particular began preceding my trip which was when I began snapping away.  This made the photography even more challenging as taking pictures with shaky hands is not at all easy!  Once I realized what an issue this would be, having first chuckled at the prospect I then figured out how I was going to master this.  Had you seen my camera you too would have laughed at the ten or more pictures of the same image taken with the desperate hope that at least one of them would not be blurry enough to use!

I was asked by friends if I wanted them to take the pictures to save me the trouble and although it was a kind gesture I refused to be defeated by my hands that seemed to have a mind of their own.  It may sound strange to some but I believe aside from the medical aspects, this mission is the reason the side effects occurred when they did.  It was meant as a test to heighten the effect of this venture on a personal level.  It was an element whose intent was to make a greater impact due to the difficulties I had encountered.

Having taken the pictures I needed and narrowed it down to the chosen few, it was time to develop!  In keeping with the objective of ‘everyday living’ I went to an independent machine to finally see my hard work in the flesh.  Oh.My.Goodness. They came out in a complete state of disarray.  Parts of the images were cut off; they had emerged enlarged and were immensely blurry.  I couldn’t exhibit these, they were an absolute disaster.  It was my phone, it was my damn phone.  Pixels, resolution, dpi swam around my head.  I knew they were all involved but had no idea how to rectify these issues.

At least if for nothing else this really did mirror epilepsy, unpredictability at its best.  Just as you think a drug is going to be successful it can all backfire.

Beau’s suggestion. Andrew Klotz.  LIFE SAVER!  A graphic designer ( and a very good friend who resized the pictures, ‘dpi’d’ (!) them and made them look as beautiful as they were when I first took them.  I owe him on a very large scale for this.  My first thank you was to let him win week twelve of fantasy football when our teams played against each other!

So, on a final note, I have loved creating the constellation of photos for this exhibition.  I am both excited and nervous about the opening but there is also a sadness mixed in too.  I will have the special people in Seattle to support me on the opening night, but the three people I want there the most won’t be there due to geographical reasons.  However, I know that they are proud of me and will be there in spirit supporting me and cheering me on…



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