In the dead of night, Jacki Gordon can be found raiding her kitchen fridge, not for a midnight snack but her next idea for a mini work of art.
The 63-year-old from Glasgow has used lockdown to hone her skill for creating – and photographing – remarkable miniature scenes from everyday foodstuff.
The research and evaluation consultant specialises in mental health and wellbeing and describes herself as an “enthusiastic amateur photographer”.
Her favourite photography subjects are found in the outdoors – landscapes and animals. Last year, she spent a few days learning how to photograph red squirrels and mountain hares with Highlands-based wildlife photographer Andy Howard.
But then came the Covid-19 pandemic, the months-long lockdown followed later by travel restrictions for Jacki’s home city.
Limited by how far she could travel for a picture, her border collie Ollie became the subject for many of her images until she felt sorry for him having to pose for a shot day after day.
Jacki then decided to try her hand at macro photography, close up photography of small things.
But she said: “Very quickly, I got bored photographing the more obvious subjects, like flowers.
“So a couple of months ago, I started taking pics of Lego people, but then I wanted pictures that were more lifelike and also more surprising.”
Jacki now poses tiny model railway figures and food to create humorous scenes, which she posts to social media for her friends’ and family’s amusement.
“My first miniature scene shots were of Nordic walkers scaling frozen peas. I struggled so much with those first shots. My partner Paul and I were eating the defrosted peas for days.
“However, I was hooked.”
Coming up with her scenes can some times still be a process of trial and error.
Jacki and Paul had a dinner of boiled eggs after she made a picture called Get Digging, which has railway engineers excavating egg yolk.
“Setting the figures in place is a labour of love,” she said.
“They stick to my fingers, fall over, and are just generally uncooperative. It can take a couple of hours to get them to behave so that I achieve the right look.
“I find the whole experience utterly immersive.”
Some of the scenes represent activities Jacki is missing because of the pandemic, such as world travel and long coastal walks.
She added: “Generally my ideas are sparked by what I can find in the fridge or the back of the cupboard, often in the middle of the night as I am such a bad sleeper.
“I set up various shots, look at them, think – that doesn’t work, and then have a rummage to see what I can find.”
A box of tea cakes led to Jacki posing hillwalking figures in the sticky mallow of one of a half-eaten cake.
It was Jacki’s dad, Peter, who first sparked her interest in photography. Growing up she was enthralled by the processes involved in developing and printing his photographs.
And Peter was passionate about getting the “perfect shot”.
Jacki said: “Family holidays involved him choosing our drinks in order to provide a rainbow of colours to satisfy his artistic vision.”
She added: “He died in 2002. I so often wish that we could enjoy photography together.
“My mum Joan continues to bolster my self esteem with her feedback though.”
So far, Jacki has created about 70 of her miniature scenes and she hopes to eventually publish them in a book.
She said: “Until then, I will continue trying to brighten up these dark days for myself, and for others.”
All images are the copyright of Jacki Gordon.
News Source: BBC News