4 weeks ago, on the advice of the internet SHOUTING at me I upgraded my 2010 mac from Snow Leopard to Yosemite OS. It turned out to be one of those huge mistakes, the kind of mistake that you think you can learn to live with but it turns out that you can’t . DVD drive and card reader wiped out, my film scanner wouldn’t work, neither would my photoshop and everything was so verrrrry slooow. And the new interface, eww. Apple what have you done?
Thankfully my daughter’s boyfriend is a mac nerd with an external CD drive. First I had to back up 5 years of files to a hard drive, as one of my sins is I’ve never used the Time Machine thing. He wiped my mac clean (gulp) and put Snow Leopard back on. Apart from a couple of small things everything works properly again. It’s a bit weird taking this step back to 5 years ago and I feel very vulnerable with 5 years worth of work on a whirring hard drive. As I’m typing this it’s clanging away next to me as I decide what files to put back on and what can stay in the box. I will however back the box up to USBs as an insurance policy. In return I gave the boyfriend a Pentax P30 and he’s happy as Larry.
So here I am looking through 5 years of archives and seeing how far I’ve come. What worked and what didn’t. What made me feel like punching the air and what made me feel bored and tired and uninspired. And there’s a lot.
But not the photo above, it was from the first roll of film I put onto my mac. We had gone away for a few days to Provence and the day before we left it had arrived. I left it in it’s box, waiting to upack and set it up when we got home. On the drive back we stopped off at Rencontres D’Arles. I was still fairly new to film shooting and soaking up like a sponge. That was a good year that one – Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith, and the personal archives of Ernst Hass. His work made me fall in love for a time with intense colour and photographing through glass. The above photo I took shortly afterwards in Toulouse, velibs and a Franz West sculpture reflected through the broken window. It was the very first photo I uploaded onto my mac and I still really like it. (Funny now to look at it as I had no negative scanner and hadn’t figured out Photoshop so I was at the mercy of my local lab’s scanning!)
Another delightful surprise was finding Rabbit Punch again. In it’s first progression as a student in 2002, I made an artist’s book of original monotypes, drypoints and drawings. In 2010 I scanned the pages, resized them and made a run of little books that turned out to be the most popular editioned work I’ve ever made. Nice to know other folk are bonkers about rabbits too. In fact, on seeing the files again I’ve just decided to make another rabbity book. You heard it here first, folks.
All this has come at such an appropriate time, as if the universe is trying to tell me something. New blog, new work, new headspace. I’m ditching so much of my old practices and working behind the scenes on a new website, putting loads of my older and sculpture work out to pasture. I’ve even seriously considered wiping the slate completely clean and reverting to my maiden name of Evans just for work, but Suzie Chaney sounds slightly French and I don’t want to be judged by my nationality any more than my age or gender, working in France.