Poppies (1998)

by Dan Senn

 see video silent (3:37)

In the neighborhood of Shy Anne Studio, near the first of three studios I constructed with my own hands between 1994 and 2016, here, a 1000 sf metal covered building built in 1994 in north Tacoma, there lived an elderly woman in a small house surrounded by a picket fence and apple trees. The fence hadn't been painted in many years, the apple trees grew as if wild, and the woman rarely cut her lawn. And for all of this, though it probably affected property values, I was very thankful as a large portion of her lawn had been overtaken by gloriously beautiful red poppies.

One warm summer evening, while my family was out on an errand, I felt a surge of boldness, grabbed my HI8 camera and tripod and went to this poppie patch to shoot video. I made an unsuccessful attempt to get approval for this from woman (she was not the sort to give permission) and then decided to shoot from legal ground, that is, from the sidewalk and just over the old fence.

Poppies is a short study of this small field of flowers and comes close to, pehaps, the way in which I see such things. The piece is in-camera edited and silent.

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