A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


The Pleasant & Most Recent Reappearance of Sarina de Lange
Sunday, November 09, 2008

Name: Sarina de Lange

Comments: Alex, I visited the library today and came across a photograph from your 1990 'Women in Tubs' show in Vancouver. Twenty years ago, I was one of the 'women'. I strongly regret that I missed the gallery opening of 'Women in Tubs' and having never seen the image you presented of me to Vancouver. Now, many years and three children later, I am curious to see myself from the vantage point of the viewer over my tub. If you have the stills or copies of your work from this period, is there any way I may see the image you chose of me?

Anticipating your response,
I thank you for your time,

Dear Sarina Catharine,

I have good news for you. Not only do I have the picture that originally appeared in the show but a copy (16x20) which was to be yours and can still be yours if we manage to find a way of getting it to you.

Twenty years ago I was afraid to show outright nudity so I was careful not to show any breasts in any of my pictures. There are some lovely ones of you which I never used. I used the same reasoning for all the rest of my subjects and I remember hearing someone at the show complain that I had not pulled back my camera enough to show "anything".

For some unknown reason I picked a picture of you (left) that shows you at your most whimsical and with your lovely smile. Perhaps I chose right even though I find the laughing one funny and in the second one your hand is more graceful. Photographers go through periods that are dark and then light. Periods when we print with high contrast and periods when we choose to use softer contrast. At the time I printed all the tub shots really dark. Yours was dark, too.

The paper I used was a terrible (hard to use) Kodak fiber based paper that I processed archivally. This means that your copy will be inherited by your grandchildren if you frame it properly.

I also remember at the time the paradox (since they were pictures taken in the water) that all my negatives had water stains that would not disappear with repeated washings. In the end I found out that the wetting agent (Edwal LFN) that I had used had gone through a chemical change and the very problem a wetting agent was supposed to remove, this particular one was adding to it. And your negative was one of the worst. I remember washing it and washing it!

I associate you with Chandler who worked with you at that excellent E-6 (Ektachrome) lab called Quad. I have not seen Chandler nor have I heard about him in a very long time. He used to appear at some of my shows. I always admired his sensitivity to art and his good taste.

From your phone I guess you live somewhere in Alberta. One of the tub women lives there and she is the one that perhaps you saw in the library in the back cover of the Reader's Digest. It would have been a picture of her with her baby son.

Tell me what would be the best way of getting the picture to you. Perhaps you have friends who are coming to Vancouver. I would reluctantly roll it into a tube.

Sincerely yours,



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