This is a personal exploration of the theme ‘living and dying’. Some of the work was selected for the ‘Kicking the Bucket’ festival about living and dying, held in Oxford in 2014. This ran alongside work by people experiencing homelessness who I had worked with through Crisis for three days. This is my artist statement from the exhibition:
“My father died in 1995 when I was 25. He was working in India and the car he was travelling in had a head on collision with a tree. My mother was in the car with him – he died holding her hand. I found it incredibly hard to talk about his death to anyone. No one seemed to know how to relate to me about it and I didn’t want to talk to my family. Over the years I have learned to deal with it and gradually found ways to communicate more openly about the subject of death.
Over the last few years, I have been privileged to photograph three of my friends’ funerals. A beautiful friend, Ali, who died of cancer leaving behind her husband and son; an older Quaker friend, Keld, who led a very colourful life right to the end, and an inspiring, creative and hard-working friend, Dave, who died of motor neurone disease, whose words will always stay with me: “I wish I had given myself more time to stop, look, and see.
I also show some of my new personal work. Drawing inspiration from nature, stillness and meditation when on a Buddhist retreat in Scotland in September 2014, I express my feelings of brokenness, darkness, despair and descent as a result of a recent loss, as well as feelings of healing, light, joy and ascent. All is process, impermanence, is transience.”