Rather than becoming buried in the ephemeral world of social media, I’d like to share these personal thoughts here too. After all, I guess it’s a landmark on the Project that needs to be remembered just like any other, perhaps more so…
Over the last three years, I haven’t been so good at showing the down times on the road. In an effort to keep the Project as a ‘good news story’, I’ve become extremely skilled at masking any difficulties. In short, people close to me have been saying I make it look too easy.
So, I’m going to have a go at describing one of those down times. And this one’s very recent.
When I’d completed the work at Valentia, the RNLI asked if I’d make a piece-to-camera to commemorate my 100th station, a little clip to share online.
I find this outtake slightly funny but mostly hard viewing. As you can see, I just couldn’t get it right and this was about the tenth time of trying. Duncan (filming it) would probably laugh out loud and tell me it was much more than that!
Anyway, I was utterly shattered and there’s a general level of distress in my body language.
Those emotions are partly born out of finishing my largest trip to date. However, a deep fatigue had also set in that I’m only just managing to shake off now.
In those moments, all the stresses and strains of trying to keep the show on the road were slapping me hard and I was coming a little bit undone. As ever for many people, most of those stresses and strains simply boil down to money.
Making The LSP is incredibly expensive (emotionally and financially) and, of course, when I’m on the road the bills don’t stop at home either. Over the last three years, I’ve been living hour-by-hour at times trying to join the financial dots.
All the while, I’ve had to block it out of my mind in an effort to concentrate on making the work of my life.
Phrases like, “one of the largest photographic projects ever attempted” can trip off the tongue all too easily. With 100 stations under my belt, I’m now in the nitty gritty and I really have a sense of the true scale of this project.
Ultimately, I’m honoured beyond words to be making this archive. It’s a privilege spending time with so many lifeboat volunteers, preserving their bravery and devotion for future generations.
It’s taken three weeks but, thankfully, I’m gradually starting to recover mentally and physically from the moments in this video clip.
Find out how you can help keep the Project on the road:
The work I made in Cork and Kerry will be online soon, alongside the Waterford photographs I published last week. There’ll also be some new additions to the Shop, so stay tuned for more news on that front!
And what about the video clip for the RNLI? Thankfully, Duncan kept me on the straight and narrow in those moments of distress. I’ll share the final piece with you tomorrow…
Thank you to everybody who’s supported The LSP to date, whether giving me time, purchasing through The Shop, making a donation (in its many forms), providing accommodation or even buying me a pint.
Most of all, thank you to the lifeboat volunteers without whom the Project wouldn’t exist.
You all know who you are and you’re all helping to create something historical and special.
UPDATE (Sunday 29th October)
With Duncan’s help in Valentia a month ago, I was able to gather my thoughts, press the reset button and make this thank you message for the RNLI to share online.
I cannot thank you enough for the all the messages, warmth and support on the back of this blog post and yesterday’s posts. It’s been very moving.
Furthermore, I feel very fortunate and grateful to be in a situation where people feel so appreciative and enthusiastic about the work I’m making. So, thank you once again.