West of the Sun: Quotes
One of the things that has always given me great pleasure when I read a book is the inclusion of quotes at the beginning of each chapter. It was whilst reading ‘Tell me I’m here’ by my aunt, Anne Deveson, that the seed for the inclusion of quotes in an exhibition was sewn.
It may have been many years later, but when the time came for me to start putting together a mock up of what will become my coffee table book, West of the Sun, I remembered the pleasure and curiosity Anne’s quotes had given me. They ranged from Pink Floyd lyrics to poems by Georgia – her daughter, my cousin & authour in her own right – to poetry by Edward Lear, T.S Eliot, Oscar Wilde & John Donne. At the time I had wondered how long it had taken to find them all, their relevance to each chapter and the pleasure the research must have given. I too wanted to experience this and share my small inspirations with others.
I also saw them as a wonderful window into the soul of the writer above and beyond the book itself. I was, in short, fascinated and hooked by the concept.
Whilst the quotes below may have been collected primarily for inclusion in my planned book, it didn’t take me long to realize the extra dimension they would bring to an exhibition.
Along with short pieces of writing about some of the technical aspects of my photography and vignettes about certain images, the quotes help to punctuate and add rhythm to the experience of visiting the show.
I hope you enjoy them.
We only see starlight because all the stars are bleeding.
THE RAW SHARK TEXTS – STEVEN HALL
If I go insane, please don’t put
Your wires in my brain.
IF – PINK FLOYD
You cannot travel on the path before you have become the path itself.
GAUTAMA BUDDHA FROM THE SONGLINES BY BRUCE CHATWIN
Don’t you know there ain’t no devil, there’s just god when he’s drunk.
HEART ATTACK AND VINE – TOM WAITS
Slow, slow, my feet down thick sand dunes,
Curled shells recalling old sea tunes
Cut my slow feet until they bled.
‘Who cannot dance must bleed,’ they said.
BRIEFING FOR A DESCENT INTO HELL – DORIS LESSING
“The only people who see the whole picture,” he murmured, “are the ones who step outside the frame.”
THE GROUND BENEATH HER FEET – SALMAN RUSHDIE
Always on the outside of whatever side there was
JOEY – BOB DYLAN
Imagine there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do
IMAGINE – JOHN LENNON
Photography is not documentary, but intuition, a poetic experience. It’s drowning yourself, and then sniff, sniff, sniff – being sensitive to coincidence. You can’t go looking for it, or you won’t get it. First you must lose yourself. Then it happens.
Let us live for the beauty of our own reality.
EVEN COWGIRLS GET THE BLUES – TOM ROBBINS
Images of broken light which
dance before me like a million eyes
That call me on and on across the universe
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE – THE BEATLES
Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.
For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled.
HUNTER S THOMPSON
When you stop inventing reality then you see things as they really are.
ASTONISHING THE GODS – BEN OKRI
Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.
A. A. MILNE
The curious are always in some danger. If you are curious you might never come home.
Art arises when the secret vision of the artist and the manifestation of nature agree to find new shapes.
There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.
I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn’t know who I was – I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel….and really didn’t know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds.
ON THE ROAD – JACK KEROUAC
The truth knocks on the door and you say, “Go away, I’m looking for the truth,” and so it goes away. Puzzling.
ROBERT M PIRSIG
All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.
PETER PAN – J M BARRIE
Consider this, said the darkness: any motion at any speed is a succession of stillnesses; any section through an action will show just such a plane of stillness. And in each plane of stillness is the moment of clarity that makes you responsible for what you do.
THE MEDUSA FREQUENCY – RUSSELL HOBAN
You can’t find the right roads when the streets are paved.
AFRICAN HERBSMAN – BOB MARLEY
They say that every snowflake is different. If that were true, how could the world go on? How could we ever get up off our knees? How could we ever recover from the wonder of it?
Listen, the snow is falling
The air was soft, the stars so fine, the promise of every cobbled alley so great, that I thought I was in a dream.
ON THE ROAD – JACK KEROUAC
He put his face in front of the bathroom mirror.
I exist, said the mirror.
What about me? said Kleinzeit.
Not my problem, said the mirror.
KLEINZEIT – RUSSELL HOBAN
You road that I enter upon and look around, I believe you are not all that is here. I believe that much unseen is also here.
The Edge…there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.
HUNTER S THOMPSON
My God is the God of Walkers. If you walk hard enough, you probably don’t need any other god.
The individual’s curse is to be simultaneously the single most important thing in their universe whilst being completely and utterly insignificant within the universe as a whole.
I’ve stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains,
I’ve walked and I’ve crawled on six crooked highways,
I’ve stepped in the middle of seven sad forests,
I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans,
I’ve been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard,
And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard,
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.
Oh, what’ll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what’ll you do now, my darling young one?
I’m a-goin’ back out ‘fore the rain starts a-fallin’,
I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest
A HARD RAIN’S A-GONNA FALL – BOB DYLAN