I am making this work because I must. I am compelled to do it. No, wait. This is no lazy ‘artist as hero’ position, this is not work as an expression of myself, not a closed circle that I am refusing to unpick. It does however have a lot to do with the psychic processes that photography necessarily inhabits. The ‘absent presence’ of which Barthes spoke. I photograph in order to hold onto the moment, the place, the trace which I cannot stop, cannot keep, cannot hold. I know this, and yet however partial, incomplete and vain the attempt, I return and photograph again. Its a pre-bereavement project,  born out of my responses to the death of my father and the desperate searching that goes with that first recognition of profound loss. It is a melancholic project, the view-finder misted with soft tears and an ache that no image can assuage. Yet filled too with contradictions, remorse tinged with a longing to escape.

Because I chose to make this a public project, it must speak beyond the particular. Yet I do risk starting from this personal punctum, to evoke an emotional response in the viewer who will not share the precise details of the story.

Too close to home?  is an inquiry into the texture of place and memory through the notions of absent presence. The work includes metaphors for the process of ageing. As my starting points I drew upon family myths and a detailed exploration of memories of a specific place. I am using photography and video to explore and isolate tiny details and fragments, so the audience only builds up a sense of the space over time. By pushing at the edge of legibility I enable the audience to project their own meanings upon the images, which symbolise and stand in for the continuity and discontinuity of change over time.

Essay - Too Close to Home?