JULY 2013 BACK ISSUE by Damian Bird
Part I I have always been fascinated by the mysterious and exotic world of the circus. As a child I visited the circus from time to time and my memories of this are shadowy and as full of fear as they are of excitement.  Visiting Giffords Circus gave me a taste of something that went way beyond my expectations of what a circus could be. It was like entering into a dream world or film in which one could actually speak to the colourful and larger than life characters that kindly facilitated my visit and embraced my presence as a stills documentary photographer. I was struck by the beauty of the people that made up the circus's company and how they were as much athletes as performers. The elite troop were not acting out roles, but crafting their performances as artists, painting exhilarating forms with their actions in the big top in which an electrified audience watched on, open mouthed and wide eyed. The architects of Giffords Circus, Toti and Nell Gifford, have created a moving masterpiece in which every detail has been considered and made perfect. Magician. Perfect snacks. Death defying feats. Tough love. Ladder to nowhere. Painting with colours. True strength. The circus goes on back-stage. Candy-floss stall: a portal of sugar. Warm up. Stretch. Warmth of  character. Painting. Watch it! Rose-bud lips. Reach for the sky. Back to current issue