There are familiar streets where I walk often. I know them as well as my home, yet every day I notice small differences – changes in the light or weather, a shift of angle, something dropped or spilled – and most days I take a few photos.
There are unfamiliar streets where I travel watchfully. I have a poor sense of direction and am easily lost. I look for small things – the colours of a poster, the shapes of a tree, a pattern of cracks in a wall – to mark my way. I take quick pictures to locate myself, as if leaving a trail of thread or a sprinkling of crumbs along the path.
Sometimes, from the corner of my eye, I see a shape or pattern and have a sense of how it might look reflected back on itself, as in a pool or mirror. When I get home I copy and flip the image and join the two together. The results are never quite what I expected – more strange and complex, they often have the look of characters from untold stories, misremembered folk tales, a lost tarot.
Each one holds the memory of the moment I found them – why I had been there, the time of day, how I felt, what I was thinking about, the scents in the air, the light of the season, the spirit of the place. They also arrive with a distinct personality, carrying their own surprising messages and meanings.
These are my street goddesses, making the familiar strange, making the strange familiar.
I Cracked Goddess of the Snack Bar Window
II Night Queen of the Railway Wastelands
III Sun Goddess of the Duck Pond
IV Wind Witch of the Seed Pods
V Underwater Queen of the Municipal Fountain
VI Wired Witch of the Back Streets
VII Death Goddess of the Leaf Rot
VIII Spinning Witch of the Hot House
IX Rain Goddess of the Tree Bark
X Guardian Goddess of the Cemetery Gates
Mary Frances wanders around a lot taking pictures of things which aren’t there.
Some of them appear briefly on twitter @maryfrancesness