The Magic of Memories
The gift of memory recall is such an important aspect of life. Memories are made and become more explicit through the medium of photography.
In recent times, the world lost one of life's gifts, Linda Saunders, who passed on January 1, 2018. Linda was well known in many areas of public life, both in the UK (Transport Manager - Greater London Council) and Dublin (Senior planner and board member of the National Transport Authority). However, it’s in Wicklow that Linda will be more universally missed. Linda was a past CEO of the Wicklow Chamber of Commerce, past President of the Neptune Bridge Club, and founding member of a fledgling, Wicklow Tourism Association. The Association was formed in the recession riddled 80's, along with a number of other formidable local women including Mary Byrne from Ballyknockan House Guest House, Mary Clissman, from Clissman Horse Drawn Caravans, and Dorothy Geogegan from Avonmore Guest House in Rathdrum, all now sadly passed on. My association with Linda was in the Tourism Association, but mainly in The Old Rectory Country House and Restaurant in Wicklow Town. A 4 Star award-winning restaurant and guest house, built by hand, from a semi-derelict manor house to a beautifully restored Georgian country house, painstakingly and physically, brought back to life, by her husband Paul. Linda developed the creative menus, handled the marketing and did the cooking. Regretfully, I didn’t create a serious portrait of Linda & Paul, but I shot many photographs around the house, mainly for advertising and promotion. Each shoot was carried out with the close collaboration of Linda, whose still-life set ups always oozed with originality and creativity. My part was lighting and photography.
I only have one photographic example of this time at The Old Rectory in Wicklow, and as Linda did the complete set up, I have titled it 'The Linda Saunders Set'. When I look at the photograph, I am right back in the Old Rectory, with Linda & Paul, with all the atmosphere, the hustle & bustle, the guests, the menus, and most importantly, their hospitality and wonderful personalities, always present and everywhere.
Since we are on the subject, I go back to the early 80's and another collaboration.
This time with an internationally acclaimed landscape & portrait artist, June Jackson, from Rathdrum in Co. Wicklow. Born and raised in the north of England, June lived and worked in Rathdrum with her husband Alan for many years. Alongside being very sought after, she was the artistic consultant at the original Wax Museum, in Parnell Square in Dublin, with the owner, Senator Donnie Cassidy. On occasion, June would call me if she needed a second opinion, usually on a still-life set up and lighting etc. Again, I only have one surviving photograph of this simple but creative time. As June created the still-life, I created the lighting and photography. I have entitled this 2nd photograph 'The June Jackson Set'.
Looking at the two photographs from over 30 years ago, brings back an avalanche of wonderful creative memories, of collaborations with two seriously creative women, without whom the Ireland is certainly at a loss. June jackson moved to Melbourne Austrailia in the 90s where she still lives and works as an Artist.
Such is the power of photography - making memories magic.
For the 'Techies', both photographs shot on Mamiya RB 67 Pro S Film camera
using Kodak Varicolor 2 professional colour negative 120 roll film.