I have already said that I taught myself photography at home in the makeshift bathroom dark room. Now I always took my camera with me wherever I went. No sketch book at this time.
We made our usual Easter trips to Cornwall every year and almost always someone visiting us from abroad came with us, We took Harald Poelchau and Dorothee from Berlin. Anya and Wlodek, and Betty’s American friends Julia and Barbara separately plus a Norwegian, Sigrid Lund.
Julia was the head of the American Friends Relief Service. She was tall and thin with her hair scraped back in a bun and a no nonsense manner. She reminded me of some of the frontiers women photographed by Dorothea Lang in the American Depression. She was a Quaker but I could see her with a rifle defending her homestead. Barbara Graves was also a very strong sassy American woman, a kind of Katharine Hepburn.
The last time we actually holidayed in Cornwall itself ,we took the two teenage children, Christian and Eva of her American friend Dell, who had married a German woman, she was a concert violinist. When Christian and Eva were were walking at Lands End we asked them if there was something they would like to do. Christian said he would like to go on a day trip to the Isles of Scilly. Incidentally Christian went on to become a medical doctor, can you believe it he has just retired. Eva married the concert pianist, Christian Zaccharias but after having children they divorced
We boarded the Scillonian at Penzance. Fortunately it was a fine day, it can be very rough. We landed at St. Mary’s the main island, but waiting close by were the little boats to the outer islands. For some reason we decided to go further, to Tresco. Fate!
Tresco was like a dream. White sand and empty beaches at one end and majestic wild cliffs and rocks at the other end. The sky was blue and the water turquoise and transparent over the white sand. A kind of paradise. From that time on our Easters were spent on Tresco. We left our car in Penzance. I fell totally in love with one beach, Pentle which was just below the cedar wood chalet where we stayed.
The thing that fascinated me above all was the intertidal zone. I loved the way the water left the sea weed in a still form on the sand after it had been swirling in the high tide. Then there were the rock pools with different forms of transparent weed and the sea anenomes. Back home I wanted to express what I had experienced, paint was no good too static, I wanted something that was free enough to move, that’s what started me off into several years of textiles and led onto the next move in my career. I made a photographic record of Pentle. I probably have about 300 or so that I took over the years.
Below Photo Left water rills as the tide comes in. Right Photo. Weed growing on rock
Below Weed on rock. Photo
Photos Left ‘popping’ weed. Right ‘Holdfast’ weed. Similar to oar weed.
Photo Below Tracks in the sand
The textile pieces that I made as a result of my studies. Below Floating wet veils Sold.
Below. Oar weed. Sisal and horsehair yarn. Sold
Headlands. Woven wool and knotted jute. Sold