I was really pleased when a portrait taken by me of my late father was selected for the Photocrowd & Alamy Exhibition 2015 at The Printspace in Shoreditch last month.
The photograph, taken when my father was dying from dementia in 2013, is not an easy picture to like. It depicts an old man in a fitful sleep, calling for his wife, my mother, who passed away the year before this picture was taken. Yet, while it challenges us to confront the possibility that old age, and all its attendant complications and frailties, will take us all, it is also a simple and open picture of a man I loved at a moment of vulnerability for us both.
The motivation to create the portrait was driven by the realisation that my father had been the subject in photographs for his entire life but, at the end, there was the possibility that this grand cycle of image-making would close with nothing to mark its terminal point. I would photograph him, with his permission, whenever I visited. It eased the pain of experiencing my father's rapid decline and gave us an extra point of interest to talk over while I worked.