We left Buxton Museum to explore a new gallery just next door and it turned out to be quite a cornucopia of local artists work. Three etchings of birch trees caught my eye first and then a photograph, which turned out to be one of a number by Caroline Small.
As we wandered round and found more of her work I became more and more entranced by the lovely details Caroline had captured; garden flowers, frozen leaves between the rails of a miniature railway, blackened winter leaves, tree branches simplified by snow, captured in a way which recalled the moment of discovery of these little details.
I might have missed the photograph reproduced here, it was on one of the greetings cards for sale. In many ways it epitomises her work. A reflection in a puddle, branches overhead form a heart shape, the frosty road a silvery frame and the veiled sun or moon a centrepoint.
These photographs have a fresh, genuine, real feel to them. They sometimes capture that moment of noticing. They are not highly technical shots recording to perfection, they entice us and recall for us, and in so doing achieve much more.
When I contacted Caroline for permission to show one of her pictures here I learned that she had been recovering from a serious illness and took up photography quite recently as a sort of therapy, getting her out and interested in things after she had had to give up her work in the theatre. Getting about was a struggle for her and explains the very local nature of her subjects.
But what gems she has found.
You can see many of Caroline’s photos and learn what she means by “mindfulness” by visiting her website and Facebook page, AMindfulEyePhotographyByCarolineSmall.