Photographing my work

Up until now I have always been able to use my studio for photography. It has some white walls and very good natural light topped up with cool white fluorescent lighting. My photos have been OK. They have got some pieces into curated exhibitions. But photos of pieces from my very pale, ephemeral Still series have not been good enough. And now I have completed a piece that is just too big for me to photograph in my studio. Ruins 7 is 180cm wide by 249cm high. Ruins 7 (detail)

At first I considered turning it through 90degrees, suspending it from the ceiling in my studio with some sort of backdrop suspended behind it. Hmm - not easy! Instead my son Cal borrowed a gallery space that at least allowed me to hang the piece against a white wall albeit still hung on it's side.

I found a great web article on photographing quilts ( with lots of info on how to make your own lighting rig. After many fruitless hours I discovered that you can't buy really really bright compact fluorescent bulbs in cool white in the UK. Not to be put off Cal came up with a design using multiple lightfittings on two uprights. I brought wooden uprights and some shelf brackets to use as legs. Instead he borrowed some proper lights and a tripod off a friend. Clever lad!

And today we photographed the piece. Until now I have really only seen it on the bench. It looked great hung up and will look even better if I ever get to show it in a gallery with tall ceilings.

I'm not sharing an image of the whole piece as it is being submitted for an exhibition. However the detail shot above gives a good sense of the piece. Fingers crossed.