Thursday 1 December 2016

Jane Perry Woodgate – An Ode to 60 Years

This series arose from Jane’s desire to commemorate her 60th birthday in a special way. She chose to be photographed naked in the trees at Chiswick House in London. We took a picnic.

It's important to me to support others in their creative expression, and to document exploration of the self with integrity and understanding. 

In these images we're employing the powerful medium of photography to transmit ideas of liberation and freedom of expression. Jane’s lithe body is testimony to her worldliness and her desire to share a state of self-acceptance which has been hard-won. Her observations and poetic insight amplify this sense of release.

If the camera disappears and the person before me emerges from within themselves, I feel I have achieved my aim. To do this requires kindness, a desire for truthfulness, and the wish to capture glimpses of these aspects in another.

Here are her poignant words about reaching this milestone in her life.

by Jane Perry Woodgate

Physically, I work hard
lifting, carrying, so much heaviness
spiritually, I work hard
lifted, carried, so much happiness

In the early morning it is difficult to climb
the stairs at the station
my legs ache so much
at the strain

In the early evening, it is delightful to descend
the stairs at the station
my heart hops and skips
homeward bound 

The future uncertain
no money
pension poverty

The future is certain
just love
blessedness and bliss

So, today I free my body
my soul
my mind
my heart

I climb trees naked and dance
I celebrate
every year
every moment
every person I have loved

I laugh and say

never stop singing
never stop praying
never stop loving

and most of all

I say

thank you.

Poem by Jane Perry Woodgate
Photography by Gaynor Perry