At a recent photographic exhibition on the theme of ‘Movement’ (in Limoges, April 2012), I was struck by this series of four images taken by Guy Bayles.

The images capture the embodied competence, coordination and sense of timing of the roofers as one throws a tile to another. The coordination of the two roofers is highlighted in the first image as they mirror one another’s gesture of a raised arm. The roofer who has thrown the tile immediately turns to get another one, confident both in his own aim and in his co-worker’s catch. The man who is to catch the tile is perched on the edge of the roof, confident too but also making the necessary bodily adjustments. In the second image, he is leaning in to reach for the tile and prepare for the impact of its weight, giving himself the room to straighten slightly (image three) once he has it within his grasp (image four). It looks easy but that can’t be true (see for instance, Terrible Necessities). These roofers need a bodily awareness and control that prevents them from stepping back – and off the roof – as the tile comes near for instance. They need to be tuned in to their own strength and agility to throw with just the right amount of force. And they need to be able to do this in coordination with one another. Quite a feat.