Featured on the blog today is photographer Celine Marchbank, who is currently running a Kickstarter crowdfund to fund her new emotive and beautiful photobook Tulip.
Hi, I’m Celine Marchbank, a documentary, editorial and commercial photographer based in London. I have a BA in Graphic Design, and an MA in Photojournalism & Documentary Photography from the London College of Communication. I’m also a lecturer on the BA Photography course at Ravensbourne, London.
Tulip is a very personal project about the last few months of my mother’s life. My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer and a brain tumour in September 2009, whilst trying to come to terms with the fact that she was dying, I decided to document the time we had left together. I didn’t want to create a graphic portrayal of her death, but rather chose to photograph her last few months in her Camden home, looking at the things that made her uniquely her; the details of the house I knew so well and the things I realised would also be gone when she was gone.
My mother’s love of flowers was a beautiful part of her personality; the house was always full of them, and as she photographed them I realised they were symbolic of what was happening. They represented happiness, love, kindness and generosity; but also isolation, decay, and finally, death.
The final project, Tulip, named after my mother’s favourite flower, has been exhibited around the UK and internationally, and has been nominated for a variety of awards including the European Publishers Award and the Deutsche Bank Awards in 2011. It’s also been featured in a range of magazines, including a main feature in The Telegraph Magazine.
I’ve just launched my first Kickstarter campaign to raise part of the funds to publish the project into a book. If the funding target is reached, then Dewi Lewis will publish a beautiful hardback book in early 2016.
Please help support to get this book publish, check out my Kickstarter page here, where you’ll be able to pre-order the book and also other nice rewards.
I think my work is inspired much more by contemporary art, especially minimalist painting. I love abstract work of any kind, but my all time favourite has to be Mark Rothko. How he manages to get so much emotion on one canvas never fails to amaze me. I love art that shows emotion, I want to feel something when I look at it, and his work does that in abundance.
My favorite type of photography I take inspiration from is small personal stories. Whilst I was doing my Tulip project I looked at so many lovely projects about similar personal tales, my favorite was Leonie Hampton’s In The Shadow of Things. It’s just beautiful.
Recently I’ve been doing research into grief for a new project, and have discovered how much I love poetry. I’ve just read Clive James’ collection of poems Sentence To Death, it’s so beautiful could read it everyday.
I’ve been working on this new project on and off for about 4 years. This project is also about my mother, but it’s much more about her life not her death. I’ve been retracing her life, and her cooking history; she was a head chef. I’m teaching myself her recipes. But it will also be about my journey through grief in the years since her death. The final project will be a book, and I plan to use the food, as I used flowers in the Tulip book, to lead you through the story. I’m hoping to finish this project early next year.