I have so many ideas right now, for my contribution to our collaboration for the Look13 international photography festival next year.
One idea is growing from this letter which I now own, written by actress Mavis Villiers, including the following sentences:
“Have lost all my photographs in the many moves. This is the only one I could find - in character, my last T.V. starring role at the B.B.C T.V. London. If I find others will send some later…”
I am so intrigued by lost and found photographs and as I have mentioned before, in memory and traces.
I am intrigued that I can find very little in the way of biography for Mavis Villiers online as well. Can I fill in any gaps? What about with fictional narrative?
Another reference in the letter is to the play Philadelphia Here I Come by Brian Friel,
in which Mavis Villiers had just finished starring at the Helen Hayes theatre.
This play is set in a fictional Irish town, with issues around longing, dreams, battling with
relationships, gender issues and gender constraints and so on.
I’m wondering whether I could use the real snippets as my starting block,
and recreate this story with a woman, Mavis, as the protagonist,
turning gender roles on their head?
What would an Ireland in the 1960s have looked like in a different light?
What about the double consciousness running with Mavis’s thoughts as the context?
What if women had the freedom too escape their situation;
what would be their internal battles and dilemmas and what would this leave the men with?