Why do you keep a photograph that wounds so deeply?

You have to realise that I live a rather strange life at the moment, which one day might change.

This… is not going to trouble me anymore.

There is more but I am going to write it all down for you to find after I die.

Unreliable Narrator

“Why do you keep a photograph that wounds so deeply?”

In January 2021, whilst casually looking through a family album, I came across a page that stood out from the rest – the photographs had been cut.

The aging 6×4 photographs were defaced to keep their silence, yet the spectre of the missing pieces shouted loudly. The person missing from the photograph was my grandmother, and the person who made the cut was my mum. Hidden in the partial absence of this benign family photograph was a far more complex narrative of historic abuse and trauma.

‘Unreliable Narrator’ plays on narrative interpretation and the existence of ‘truth’ by placing differing versions of the same story together: my family’s, my own narrative, and the pervasiveness of memory through sequences of archive photography, text, my images, and my text. The project is designed to create assumptions of narrative and then works to undermine them. For example, a photobook was produced because of a presumed mechanically reproduced consistency. However, I have worked to create each one as an individual object through the inclusion of elements including an image copied over 100 times so that it degrades and different upon comparison.

‘Unreliable Narrator’ is a reflexive interrogation of the stories that we tell each other, and ourselves. Using the personal archive as a starting point, I explore estranged relationships within my family and how trauma can continue to impact subsequent generations.

Read ‘The Latchkey Kids’ short story, which accompanies the above series (Opens in new tab to view photographs alongside text):


Available as a book, here