Woman In RedMonday, October 16, 2006
My eldest daughter Ale took it upon herself to begin filing all my photographs some 12 years ago and did such a great job that I can find anything in my files if I remember my subjects' names. Sometimes her filing system is quirky. My self-portraits are filed as self-portraits. It took me a while to figure that one out. Recently I discovered the Woman in Red. I photographed her about 29 years ago and all I remember is that she lived in upper East Hastings in Burnaby and that even in red she was awfully cool. 29 years ago I thought I was going to shoot fashion and models. I worked for a while for the (Marie) Morton Talent Agency. I remember Marie telling me once, "When I send you young men to photograph make sure none of them are wearing puka shell necklaces." Marie must have sent the Woman in Red my way. I think that I also photographed her somewhere in a Richmond wild park where it had recently snowed. The out of focus (in reality the blur is caused by camera shake) marks the first use of my mother's beautiful Mexican red rebozo. It was given to her in 1950 and it is made of an extremely rough fibre and its intense redness marks it as some sort of vegetable dye that is no longer used. Many of my models (mostly the undraped ones) have worn this rebozo which has the sweet smell of olinalá wood. I store it in a Mexican lacquered chest that came from Olinalá in the state of Guerrero where the trees used to make the lacquered chest once grew. Most are gone because of over-logging.