“Your hair looks glossy Pannack, what conditioner do you use?”
The dictaphone appears in my peripheral as we step off the train into the salty wind of the coast at Southend Central. Dench sports a next generation hyper camera device round his neck like a medallion over his iconic Fila sports top. The tiny camera blinks at me every second recording my movements like a tracking device. What have I let myself into I think?
At this point I don’t know Dench that well. I mean I’ve seen him at PV’s and we’ve done a show together but our banter is always lighthearted, sarcastic and enjoyable. I’ve always just thought..Peter Dench, he’s a funny man, I like him. Strangely the first time I was introduced to him was when he tagged me in a video he made at Perpignan years ago. Flattering me with an excited commentary :”Now the party has really begun, Laura Pannack has arrived in Perpignan!”. This royal introduction intrigued me and I was eager to meet this humorous charmer.
So today is a chance to go beyond that and really unravel the one they call Dench. I’m surprised and honored he’s asked me to be in his book The Dench Dozen where he has selected a mere 10 British photographers and interviewed them in depth. (http://hungryeyemagazine.com/great-britons-of-photography-vol-one-the-dench-dozen/#buy)
This is our interview. I requested a stroll as I think it’s the best way to break down barriers and evolve a relationship. I’m also craving a trip to a seaside town.
We decide to hit the pier. It’s long. Really long..so long it holds the record as the longest pier.
What’s at the end? A bar? A cafe? An arcade? No. Nothing.
When we do arrive at the other end, sweaty and disappointed Dench leans into the sea breeze…snap