Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints

Tribute to internationally celebrated fashion photographer Crispian Plunkett, who passed away recently.

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Crispian Plunkett 1969 to 2009

Internationally celebrated fashion photographer Crispian Plunkett shared his experiences at the 2006 Design Indaba Conference. According to his agency, Infidels, his death was caused by a diabetes-related blackout. The memorial was held on Plunkett's 40th birthday, 25 June. Design Indaba would like to wish his friends, family and colleagues our sincerest condolences.

Here artist, agitator and friend of Crispian Plunkett for over 25 years, Christian Nerf pays personal tribute to a tall man.

Damn. We have lost a man who never ceased in his quest for uncalled-for newness.

When Crispian Plunkett and I were teenagers, we spoke about wandering in the snow and looking for something that wasn’t in a book. Aware that others would follow in our footsteps, we lamented their loss, as they would miss out on the thrill of being in the darkness. “The tall man” was a lifesaver; dragging many people out of a ”slave” mentality, albeit only for a moment. He was the type to go and watch the dawn rise behind the home for the blind, and was the first of our gang to die (thanks, Morrissey).

Crispian was not a god-fearing man; we were each other’s keepers. He was an all-round insatiable human being and some of us will recall his sexcapades with a wry smile. Mr P epitomised being the writer at least as often – if not more so – than he was the reader. He took the lead without the intention of leading the pack. But enough about the past – he would be so fucked-off if it ended there.

Instead, onto some unfinished business: Crispian had been working with Douglas Gimberg and I on an ongoing project called Anniversary. Each year, during the first storms in early May, we would go down to the dolosse and throw rum into the ocean in a futile attempt to calm the waters (an absurd pirate’s trick and good excuse to get together and do stuff). So I ask you all to pencil it in your diaries and plan to bring your peculiar lenses and untested techniques to next year’s Anniversary. If you are not up for taking his place then just bring your rum and we can once again try to calm the oceans together.
Lastly, I will add that Crispian was in a new frame of mind recently. Having been in refresh mode for the past several months, the tall man was prepared for anything, even this. La lotta continua…