Tis the season to make lists of the notable, expound upon the great and the good, and generally pat those on the back whom you deem worthy of praise. Personally I have gone from enjoying such lists, to seeing them as a pastiche, even a parody, of their intended aim. How are you supposed to rank people from across a particular field, especially one as broad as the LGBT community or sport stars. Of course you have the quantitative measures of success like medals and awards, but when you compile lists about the measure of a person vis-a-vie another, how are you supposed to rank one above another?
This for me is what puts me off compiling lists like this. This essential question of one person’s worth over another. Yes, of course there are people who I invariably hold in high esteem, and will salute with all the vim and vigour I can. I can wax lyrical about certain people in my life, and do on occasion, but at the same time I always shy away from holding them in regard over any of the other people in my sphere. In many ways I see this as a far more respectful way of recognising people than putting together a list of the top 10 anything.
With all of this in mind, I present a group of wonderful people who have made 2012 a year to remember for me, their merit on this list is as subjective as my personal opinions and feelings.
Out of all the models I have met this year, Lucy has been the muse that has defined my work in 2012. In many respects she has been with me through the evolution of my work from where I was at the beginning of the year to the where I currently am with my style, and she has always provided an honest assessment of where she sees my technique. We have worked together on many great ideas, and all the while we have had a candid exchange which has helped me develop and grow as an artist.
Aside from being an all round creative bright spark, Emma has been a real inspiration for me in 2012 by being a friend, occasional muse, and general boundless artisan who rekindled my zest for London. She also introduced me to a lot of amazing people, put in many a good word for me, and listened patiently to a lot of my madcapness. Through her I have also seen the big smoke through fresh eyes, seen art in a new light, and gained a far greater appreciation for the margins than I ever had before.
Darcie Rae Hewitt-Dudding
If one person could encapsulate so entirely how amazing this year has been, I think Darcie would be that person. Her quiet contemplative demeanour allowed me the space to talk through many of the creative issues I have face in 2012, and through the many lunches and dinners we have shared I have found through her a centred approached to it all. She is an amazing person, who’s listening approach to life belies the amazing mind she has, and it has been a real pleasure to bring out of her photography which is among the best I have ever done.
In the embers of summer I met Steffie in Birmingham, and for a few short weeks we let a creative spark burn bright, resulting in five sets of images which I am amazed at. She is one of life’s real live wires, a woman who makes the world pay attention to her, and who makes the camera ache to take her picture. Her quintessence made our brief time together a glorious moment, not to mention made a few tongues wag. I found in her a raw quality which was both visceral and enthralling, and the art we produced will stand proudly in my portfolio.
I want to say a big thank you to all the other amazing people who have made 2012 such a delight and a pleasure. You all know who you are, and no doubt you will each be thanked personally as and when I see you next. This list could easily have been 50 or 100 people long, and I will take the time before the end of the year to compile a proper thank you.