A journey of solitude in portraits
I began the Solitude project in 2018.The original name of the work was to be titled 'Still Waiting for You''.
It was a story about the despair and heartache of two Edwardian sisters. Their husbands left to fight in WWI and never returned. The sisters spent days and years waiting and mourning their loss. A once beautiful home quickly went to rack and ruin. Eventually the sisters passed away but even in death they searched and haunted the home they had once all shared so happily.
My initial plan was to photograph the same four models at a variety of locations. With the help of friends and family I secured three superb places at which to shoot:
Antwerp Mansion in Manchester; Meols Hall In Southport and a beautiful turn-of-the-century family home in Staleybridge.
There needed to be continuality with the story between each shoot. Costume, hair and makeup had to be accurate for the period too. The team consisted of myself as the photographer and concept designer and Anna Pogodzinska a talented hair and makeup artist.
The models: Ezhan Nz,Kieron Moore, Anita Cannon and Em Katherine. Each model had a part to play in depicting and acting out their own characters. They were briefed before each shoot and knew the storyline well. They were whole-heartedly on-board and understood the concept of the story I was endeavouring to portray.
We completed three photoshoots over a period of a few months. My plan was then to organise at least one more photoshoot, if not two but unfortunately it was never to be.
The planning and preparation took up so much time. My vision for the story faded and was put on the back-burner. That was until 2020 as the terrible pandemic flooded our lives. I found myself delving back into past photography projects. As I browsed through the images it suddenly dawned upon me that the photographs from 'Still Waiting for you' depicted exactly the feeling of solitude and despair that thousands of people were experiencing on a daily basis, right here and now. The time seemed right.
What I once believed to be an incomplete project has come together with a clear and fresh viewpoint and perspective. My project is complete after all.