Sunday, 2 October 2011

Portraits: 21

Sara Maitland, author, at home in London, 1994
Maitland is usually described a feminist writer (when shorthand is necessary). Looking back at the negatives for these portraits, I was pleased – with the benefit of hindsight – by these two shots next to each other on the contact sheet. Because for the past 10 years Sara has been writing and living, as she says on her website, "…on my own and pursuing a deep and joyful fascination with silence." Why the empty room should follow the portrait I don't remember: the next shot is another portrait in the same place and Sarah wasn't moving swiftly around. So it was simply a chance pressing of the shutter, leaving her gone and a barely noticeable spiral of smoke from a cigarette. The year before she was divorced from her Anglican vicar husband, the year after she was working with Stanley Kubrick on AI. Here she just happened to disappear into silence.

For more on these portraits, see here, and the Portraits tag at right.

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