‘image into ikon’ is the new name for the shot at ten paces blog which began life in Lent 2013. The name ‘shot at ten paces’ arose out of a conversation with the poet Gillian Wallace in 2012 whilst I was describing the limitations, frustrations and practicalities of taking photographs whilst living with a chronic illness. The blog was designed to be a forum for me to share my interest in photography and spirituality and to became home to gentle conversations about contemplative photography with people all over the world. Since 2013 my health has fluctuated a great deal but by Grace I was able to post at ’shot at ten paces’ more than 300 times, flexing my writing muscles as well as honing my photographic skills. This led to being a regular contributor on the Godspace blog and becoming a ‘monk in the world’ as part of the Abbey of the Arts community. In 2016 the shot at ten paces blog also led to an offshoot project called ‘acts of daily seeing’: a Facebook page dedicated to exploring and practicing contemplatively photographing the details of my everyday via the lens of my iPhone. I later also shared this via Instagram.
I have recently spent nearly six months in hospital and have deliberately been ‘off-line’ for that time. This break has allowed me to come to a decision about my growing discomfort about the violence implicit in the ‘shot at ten paces’ name, with its images of snatching and grabbing which is so at odds with the discipline of contemplative photography. So after six years of being a valuable outlet, I will no longer be posting images and writings at ‘shot at ten paces’.
Instead, I have a grand exciting vision which I hope to unveil during the course of 2020, but it begins with the small birth this new blog: image into ikon. I hope it will become a forum for wide-ranging discussions about creativity and spirituality, and I hope to be able to feature my paintings, prints , drawings and collages in addition to my poetry and photographs, as illustrations of the ways in which God is present to us. I will begin with a series of ‘advent apertures’: daily photo reflections for the Advent season, which in 2019 will be around the theme of ‘wonder’.