Laura Padgett : and thereby hangs a tale

Laura Padgett photographed at the Port of Dover during her residency with Dover Arts Development in 2008.
She was one of the 5 commissioned photographers of the DAD Embarkation – Photography Commissions 07/08 – a public art project where each artists work could be seen at 10 different locations throughout the town of Dover for a month.

While photographing, I was inspired by the memory of a novel by William Gaddis*, and my choice of text that is part of the image refers directly to a phrase by William Shakespeare in The Taming of the Shrew.

“- My God Oscar, we’re all exhausted, we all need a rest Harry? can you hear me? She passed to fight a casement window closed, – there’s a small makeup case in the bathroom, will you bring it? And she stood arrested, looking down the lawn where only the day before he’d stared out, even called her to see the only thing that was out there, a bluebird hopping across the discoloured grass? or was it only a jay, but she had been too busy to look, picking up streamers of newspaper, scraps of notepaper – if there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s litter, will you ever learn to keep your things in one place? And now, – you’ve got to get that damper fixed Oscar, before somebody burns down the house. Are we ready? The squeeze of a hand, of a shoulder, – let me know if you hear from Father, perhaps you should call him, Ilse? Will you help us with these bags? And out on the veranda, – I wish you’d look down on the front lawn Ilse, there’s a blue plastic bag blowing around out there where someone’s been eating potato chips or something. don’t things around here look shabby enough? Bracing herself against the bound of the car up the pits in the driveway, – that veranda is one thing, but if there’s one thing I cannot stand it’s, look out! throwing her arm up.”
Laura Padgett


*William Gaddis, A Frolic of His Own, Poseidon Press, 1994, p. 273