I have a childhood memory in which I’m sitting opposite my brother in my grandparent’s kitchen. He’s eating from a plate of biscuits and I’m sipping a very milky tea. I can see my mum stoking an open fire. My dad is sat with his feet up on top of a pile of old Daily Mail newspapers. Art Deco influences can be seen in parts of the room furniture, and on the mantel, above the fire, are sat three brass wise monkeys (“see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”) and a stuck clock.
Wold Top Marmalade Porter
My grandma’s kitchen hasn’t changed much over the past thirty years (the monkeys are looking a little tarnished maybe, and the clock is now fixed, but otherwise it has not changed), so it was the first place I thought of when I was asked to photograph Wold Top Brewery’s Marmalade Porter last month. A traditional English location for a traditional English sounding beer, I thought. The resulting photo you can see at the top of this post.
Behind the Scenes
For the fireplace photo, I asked my grandma to drop tissues into the fire to spark the smouldering embers. Then I pressed the shutter. I don’t usually add such embellishments, I’m more interested in making authentic pictures, but I needed a small flame to set the mood. The final image is framed and composed simply; it has a somewhat nostalgic look; it tells a story.
I took a second shot that day. This time I used my grandma’s larder-cupboard as a location. I positioned the Marmalade Porter on the centre shelf between a homemade apple pie, some farm eggs, and jars of coffee and tea. I hid behind the door to avoid capturing my reflection in the glass bottle.
Quarantine in Yorkshire
Before lockdown, I visited my family maybe once or twice a week. I’m looking forward to the future when things return to normal, but until then I have my pictures, I have my memories….and my grandma has my Porter!
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