Heading to the Well I realise that water is a mystery to be investigated, standing with my mother, our feet sucking down into the sulphurous ground, cows and sheep moving at the edges of my vision and the cold, rushing around us in great gusts sticking my hair to my lashes, making me blind, again. We reach the well, this is the third time now, and the water and mud has taken over, no patches of dry to skip between, so it is a slog across this small part of the moor. The story keeps bringing me back, the idea of healing and restoration is of interest, from the scare that takes me back years, and the coincidence of the photographic profession in the same year. The idea, and reality, that one can go blind from being stressed, blind from a feeling not a tangible event but an accumulation over many years, incrementally stressing the body and mind until effects are literally seen. It was a close call and the fears and tests to check worsening of the condition have finished now.
Photography was my healer, and is, this well is representative of a journey from there, past, to here, now. The Well water is the photograph, the bog, pathless and forbidding, but an end point from which to manoeuvre to further moments that seem metaphorical. Mother came along at my request but was this a mistake? She has been on many journeys with me, and against me, but this one is mine alone, experiencing physicality and possible losses is an internal subjective climb.
The Well is encircled, a wall built by prisoners, and I climb inside and lay low out of the wind bend over to collect the water and climb back out to leave. Mum is standing just across from me in the field, in the bog just looking into the middle distance, what does she make of our walks? I Photograph her then call out, she laughs but seems thoughtful, she never talks of her own feelings or thoughts, so I am left to wonder. There is a deep sadness in her, it has always been a feature but it is quite well hidden apart from these cursory junctures, I am aware that she too went to Art College and that she quit it before I was born, recently she told me that she too had also used photography and liked the darkroom, this is new information. I am as blind to her.