Annette Wilson | Photographer: Lighting things and watching them glow

Lighting things and watching them glow

Tonight I was running late, really late. I took it from just a figure of speech to something in the real world, and ran right up Crown Street to make it to my meeting on time. The running slowed to a brisk walk, as I powered down Oxford.
And then the wind picked up. I crossed the road at Hyde Park and coming towards me were 10 or so others, crossing from the other side, holding their clothes tight and shaking their heads as their hair swept and plastered across their faces, from the force of the wind. I laughed, out loud, as a boisterous 20-something year old lost his hat, shouting ‘my hat! Nooo!’, as it flew across the bustling intersection. The wind was so powerful, it blew rubbish out of the bins and down the streets, metal signs hanging above stores made wallowing sounds and I really couldn’t walk, or even power walk, in a straight line. And I really, really loved it, and my cheeks hurt a little from smiling so much.
Extremes remind me to live with fire, burning fire, lighting things and watching them ignite with glow and warmth and a little bit of fury. And to watch and take part in the warmth and glow of others who light fires too, and together the smoke from our fires twist and twirl and make dark shapes and shadows in the sky, darkening the dark and lighting the light, so that all the world can see.

Onlookers onlooking.. through their phones.. as the sails of the Opera House were lit in fluorescent technicolours.

This little lady wouldn't stop looking at me, maybe because I wouldn't stop taking photos of her looking at me. It was a vicious cycle.

Blinding flash on the faces of her children.

One final stroll through the bush by Siris mountainside home, just before she was due to leave for her flight to Iceland.
Siri is now in Portugal after travelling around Europe for 4 months, and most likely at an airport again- as today she heads to Kathmandu for a month trekking in Nepal. I recognise that our friendship will never be the same again when she returns and moves away permanently, but I am so thankful for everything we have shared.

My cousin gives tiny puppy Nollie Crooks his first ever bath. For some reason we thought a red sarong was the equivalent of a rubber bath mat. It really wasn't, and poor Nollie didn't have a fun time, but I'm sure he was grateful to be all clean and nice afterwards.

Picking up a ceramics class at uni was one of the best things I ever did for myself and my life. This week, I sat quietly crafting a small section of my hand-built vase, for 7 hours straight, and though I left covered in white from the clay and my skin drier than ever, I also left with a peace I haven't felt in a long time. I am excited to know that at some point in the future, whenever that may be, this beautiful, cold, organic medium will occupy a relatively substantial part of my world. I just know it will.

Up there with people-watching at the arrival and departures gates at the airport on my 'most favourite things to do in the world', is being asked to photograph concerts of bands I barely know, that have fan-bases beyond the imaginable. In particular, teenage girl fanbases. The emotional rollercoasters they all seem to be on, are wonderful things to watch. I can't help but feel left out, because I don't think I ever really was that crazy about anything. Besides the time I met Teddy Geiger, and cried. But we'll leave that story for another day.

Picnics in the park with the greatest of all friends. When you find real friends, you know they are real, because something is different about a real friendship that you can't explain but you can feel. There really is so much I could say about this shining, glorious soul dwelling inside the beautiful slender form that is Amy. I don't know where exactly she came from, and why at this time, but I promise it was part of the grander plan. All that needs to be said is that I am SO grateful, because I needed Amy, now.

Raena & Anna, the most wonderful small business owners of all time. Such a joy meeting people with so much self-contentment.

An afternoon spent inside the genius mind of Jonathan Baker, the man behind Anatole, made me feel inadequate but mostly just really, really alive.

Musical odes and shivering soldiers at the Dawn service. I wrote a little about this morning here, Chapter XIII.

Beautiful Kate in the Mountains of Blue, during an extra long day of collaborative productivity.

The most kind-hearted 5 year old you could ever meet, Bella.
Bella and her 4 older brothers. I love that they're all wearing Hurley jumpers, apparently it is the 'cool' thing at the moment. And I love and cherish the fact that they will look back on this photo in the coming years, and laugh at themselves for caring about things that hardly matter- but matter so much at the time.
Their sister cats, coming out from under the house only because Josh's hand held a little bit of ham.

A marshmallow in dog form, a walking cloud. This teeny, tiny puppy appeared at Taylor Square after another of Imogens shows, and it was the fluffiest thing we ever did see.

The girl who sits by my side at work. We spend so much time together that we end up speaking complete nonsense, in between themed music-listening days (once it was 'Jessica day'). This was taken on 'cute hat day', where we both wore 'cute' hats. I love Desiree so much.

Chels overlooking the Tasmanian seaside, Darby in the leaves of an Australian native, Arliss making a sandy mess of Conningham Beach, and Rosie bewildered by a found starfish.

A girl I know will be in my life until the end. She hadn't heard of Carmen Sandiego until I pointed out to her the alikeness of her outfit to Carmens.

Honestly, Elize has unknowingly played the hugest part in my little journey toward photo-taking and word-writing and world-seeing the way I really do. I haven't quite made it yet, but one day I will get there.
She is the kindest in the land.

A candlelit collaboration show in an upper level of a secret building in the heart of Sydney.

Just before dusk, the sun shakes the brightly-coloured leaves of the trees in Emily's backyard, as we set up fairy lights and stuck vinyl planets to the windows of her home. A time travel themed 21st birthday party saw Em dress as a zombie Mexican (I think..), so I made her a wreath of found flowers (literally taken from plants on the side of the road on my way to work), wound in coloured ribbons. It also included some small red chillis, which burnt my eyes a little.

Baby Ivy and the most loving of parents, visiting from Canberra. Kylie reminded me of a Disney princess, and she sung like one too.
It's days like these, when the light is like this, that I think even more about the fact that my livelihood relies so heavily on something so natural- the sun and its qualities, and I really, really love that.

Siri in front of the towel cupboard after dinner with both our families sitting around a big, square wooden table. Our last meal before her departure.

Imogen's Nan at Imogen's show, told me some things I will hold dear to my heart for a long, long time.

Kelsey and Sam, they will marry in November, and I am SO excited.
Emily makes an appearance. She'll be a bridesmaid, and I will have the best day photographing familiar faces and the celebration of a lifetime.
Kelsey's smile lights up the world.

Matty and the day he sold out the Enmore. The last one in this series reminds me of tie-dye and mixed berry smoothies.

Jatz, Bubba and Emma... /Jasmin, Benjamin and Emma. The blue-eyed half of my siblings.
It isn't often that we travel anywhere as a family, with so many of us our schedules rarely align. So it was the best, when we all hopped on a plane and flew to one of my favourite places, Tasmania. It was the first time my younger two siblings had been on a plane, and I watched their faces as the aircraft sped uncomfortably fast before hovering in the air.

Rosie, a face displaying the calm before the storm. Moments after this picture was taken, she furrowed her brows and growled at me.
Bethan helps Paris show me her handstand. A feat I will never achieve, and will never try to achieve. Being upside down doesn't feel nice.
Laughing girls after netball training- 45 minutes which brought me back to feeling like my 10-year old self like nothing else.

A bow-tied boy, just after his primary presentation. Pear in mouth and a nose needing to be cleaned.
A tiny girl in a tiny dress, from the outside looking in.
The young children at church put on a little presentation every year, and rehearse for the weeks leading up to it. As such, our usual meeting room was switched to one much smaller. Piled into a classroom were thirty or so ladies, with smiling faces and all different sorts of hairstyles. As the teacher taught, my mind got caught in its own world, and I started to really think about people. And breathing. Human bodies with lungs and hearts and oxygen circling throughout. I watched each lady individually, their bodies rising and falling as breath filled and exited their lungs. An hour later, as I walked home, I began noticing the people who walked by me: that they, too, were heaving up and down, a million and one different things happening inside of them to make them work. And I don’t know why, but it really intrigued me, and I went home feeling like I had discovered something new, about people and living and being, even though I had known it most of my life.

Joe came and picked us up from outside my home, inside his cars cupholder was a plastic tumbler filled with water and a little cutting of a jasmine plant. I knew it would be a good day from then on.