You Build It Up, You Wreck It Down by Polly Chandler

Issue 52

My latest project is a series of narratives based on my personal interpretations of the music and lyrics by the singer-song writer, Tom Waits. Over the past few years I have endeavored on a project that filters and renders my experiences, emotions and quest for purpose, through my understanding of his music. It is often simply a single line from a song that will spark an idea.

All of the images included in this project were taken with a Large Format Toyo CX45 View camera using Polaroid Type 55 film (which is now discontinued, although I stocked up on the film when the rumors first started that it was going to disappear). I will often location scout using a point and shoot camera, then make sketches later until an idea fully forms, and eventually make the photograph. I process my film in the chemistry on location, photographing until I get the shot that is just right.

My photographs represent, among other things, my experience and interpretation of a particular place and moment in time (ultimately representing myself). All of my images are done through the camera. There is no digital manipulation aside from some levels adjusting.

For me, part of challenging myself as a photographer is to create the image I'm looking for while in the field, creating in the camera and exposing on the negative.

I also print full frame (meaning I do not crop the edges of the negative) to show that I pay close attention to every detail within my frame; including the very edges. Photographing this way does slow everything down and the subject has to pay close attention to the process of making the photograph along with me, so it's a very collaborative process, which I like.

(Editor's Note: Polly was also featured in Issue 2)

Polly Chandler lives and works in Austin, Texas.
To view more of Polly's work, please visit her website.

You can purchase "And the Sea turns into a Mirror"  from Fraction Editions

  Along An Icy Pond 

Along An Icy Pond 

  You Dreamed Me Up & Left Me Here 

You Dreamed Me Up & Left Me Here 

  Green Grass 

Green Grass 

  And He Steals His Promise 

And He Steals His Promise 

  Take Back These Wings 

Take Back These Wings 

  Why Do I Save All This Madness In The Nightstand Drawer 

Why Do I Save All This Madness In The Nightstand Drawer 

  Another Man’s Vine 

Another Man’s Vine 

  And I Hang In The Curtain, And I Sleep In Your Hat 

And I Hang In The Curtain, And I Sleep In Your Hat 

  You're The Key That Got Lost 

You're The Key That Got Lost 

  And I Want To Know The Same Thing 

And I Want To Know The Same Thing 

  And If I Have To Go, Will You Remember Me 

And If I Have To Go, Will You Remember Me 

  Will You Lose The Flowers, Hold Onto The Vase 

Will You Lose The Flowers, Hold Onto The Vase 

  The Mischievous Braingels 

The Mischievous Braingels 

  And The Sea Turns Into A Mirror 

And The Sea Turns Into A Mirror 

  Like A Kid Who Captures A Firefly, And Leaves It Only To Die In The Jar

Like A Kid Who Captures A Firefly, And Leaves It Only To Die In The Jar

  All You Left Me Was A Feather On An Unmade Bed 

All You Left Me Was A Feather On An Unmade Bed 

  The Seeds Are Planted Here But They Won’t Grow

The Seeds Are Planted Here But They Won’t Grow

  And The Shadow Boys Are Breaking All The Laws 

And The Shadow Boys Are Breaking All The Laws 

  I’m Gonna Take The Sins Of My Father…Down To The Pond 

I’m Gonna Take The Sins Of My Father…Down To The Pond 

  What’s He Building In There 

What’s He Building In There