'Me & Dad' from The Dad Project by Briony Campbell
Whenever I'm in central London, I visit the wonderful Photographers Gallery - it's tucked away just off Oxford Street and is a delicious haven away from the madness. Coffee, cake, photography - what more could I wish for?
Last month I checked out the Fresh Faced & Wild Eyed 2010 show - an annual competition for recent graduates - and was moved almost to tears by the startlingly honest and brave Dad Project by Briony Campbell. In it, she documents her final weeks, days, hours and eventually seconds with her Dad -
‘This is the story of an ending without an ending. This is a relationship I am still exploring. This is my attempt to say goodbye to my dad, with the help of my camera. Being a good daughter to my dying dad was tricky. I struggled to find the right balance between dedication to his needs and distraction from my grief. At first, the idea of introducing a camera into this already un-resolvable equation seemed unwise, but eventually I think it became the solution.’
In the wrong hands, these types of projects can make you cringe for all involved but Briony's juxtaposition of words and images, displayed simply but beautifully, really struck a chord.
Keen to see more of her work, I checked out her website - www.brionycampbell.com - and discovered plenty more where that came from. A collection of bold, colourful and brave images. There is a solemness to her work, and yet often a slightly cheeky undertone. Her strength lies in her portraits - she seems to really capture the very essence of her subjects and I find myself returning again and again to her documentation of her travels in Africa, amongst others other beautiful images.
Have a look for yourself - let me know what you think.