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Blue Watch

Some people are bound to succeed. Certainly they’re talented, but they’re also energetic. They do good things, but then they also tell people about them, and get others involved. Such a person is Jonathan Cherry, who’s done some splendid photography of fire fighters, but didn’t stop there, and persuaded a bunch of people (including me) to contribute some text. Full marks to him, it’s a marvelous thing.

After “failing as a pop star and a joke-writer", Russell M Davies ended up in advertising, launching Microsoft Office and Explorer.

by Matthew Pontin

The very act of staying still tends to offer the space required for reverie, a state where one is immersed in thought. This stationary mindset will often encourage daydreaming and stimulate imaginative processes, in one sense you can travel anywhere once you commit to going nowhere in particular. 'We feel assured that we have discovered everything interesting about a neighbourhood, primarily by virtue of having lived there a long time. It seems inconceivable that there could be anything new to find in a place we have been living for a decade or more. We have become habituated and therefore blind.'1 Through stopping it becomes possible to observe with greater clarity.

This series of photographs, Blue Watch, reveals sustained research into the backstage of a rural fire station, the work invites the viewer to consider the arduously long pauses as firemen wait for action. This notion of reflection is inherent within the very reading of each image, it is this deliberate echoing, through a series of contemplative observations, which slowly builds an obvious tension. This unease is evident throughout; a photograph of a magazine Explorations balanced on an armchair, a historical panting of a fireman rescuing a woman juxtaposed next to chalked scores of a game of darts, supermarket cakes and donuts sat on the centre of a table - all hinting at a fine line between the relaxation and drama within these spaces.

The series is testament to the patience and an attentiveness of these firemen, and their presence is noted through the portraits that interrupt more subtle observations. These photographs don't suggest an idle distraction, nor the lack of need for this invaluable service, simply a memorial to the notion of forgetting to remember. 

1 Alain De Botton, in the introduction to A Journey Around My Room by Xavier de Maistre, Hesperus Classic, London, 2004 p.ix

By David Versteeg

the sun is shining, it always does
birds fly like clouds run
from the wind
the sea eats everything, chewing the land
the sea it likes to sleep a lot
eyes and skin they burn alike
courtesy of the cold cold sun
that never stops to shine

in an aeroplane over the sea
my lover is not with me
I stole both our hearts and know not where I put or left them
I hope that all the other things
maybe won’t be so important
not this time, not so important
I hope I find them soon

stupid boy where are you running
where did you find such courage
boy you used to dream a lot
boy its time to live and sing

the sun burns fear like salt in eyes-
the sun it always shines
the sun burns love in to your face
a courtesy from on high

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