The Stencil: Grannies
This image is based on a screenprinted drawing by Banksy, which was created in 2006 and was sold as a limited edition piece. Elderly people often feature in Banksy’s artworks, doing anything from playing lawn bowls, to spray painting graffiti of their own. This is one of three pieces that I included in this project that were not actually stencils, but pieces of fine art in their own right.
This shoot took place inside a local retirement village, in one of their lounge areas. The staff were really lovely and accommodating, and let me move around furniture and lights etc so I could set the shot up the way I needed to.
In terms of wardrobe, I didn’t have much to do with that as both of my models were nicely dressed and made up when I arrived so I only needed to bring a few props.
The two sweaters on their laps were both plain, bright red sweaters which I modified in post production. The tea set and the photo frame were the only other things I brought along for the shoot (the photo in the frame is of me + my boyfriend at a food and wine festival a few years ago).
This shoot almost didn’t happen so when I finally got permission at the last minute, it was a mad dash to get everything organised (which is why there is no lampshade in the image). I also brought a couple of doilies to put on the arm chairs, but I decided they didn’t really go with the chairs, so I left them out.
This was quite a fun shoot to do, and the two models were really easy to work with. I had a really, really tough time trying to find elderly people to shoot for this project (as I have no family in New Zealand), and after exhausting all my friends and colleagues, I decided to approach a retirement village that was really close to where I was working at the time. They took a really long time to get back to me, so when I hadn’t heard from them two days before the shoot was meant to take place, I just abandoned the image, and focussed on the other shoots I had to do that weekend. They did eventually get in touch with me, and said it was ok to go ahead with it and that they had found me two willing participants. I wasn’t able to get the lampshade I needed in the image in time for the shoot, but I think the painting sort of fills that void ok so the photograph still looks good. In post production I replaced the painting inside the frame (with this painting by David Wagner http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=12765&picture=autumn-woods-painting ) because I wasn’t sure who the original artist was and I didn’t want to infringe on their copyright.
The models were lit with the b1600 fitted with the octabox (see the Gear page for more details).