Loved&Lost - Exhibition Proposal - Simon Bray
I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
Excerpt from "In Memoriam A.H.H.’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson,1849.
A documentary project allowing participants to explore their experience of loss through the re-staging of a family photograph and recording an audio interview.
You can view the existing stories at www.lovedandlostproject.co.uk
Loved&Lost has recently been featured on BBC Breakfast TV, BBC Radio, BBC In Pictures, The Guardian and Positive News.
Imagery can allow for expression beyond what we can speak of. Returning to a physical place, some for the first time in many years since the original photograph was taken, instigates the recall of old memories and the emotional response to the sights, sounds and smells. Loved&Lost is a chance to think back and remember, to tell the story of the person that they have lost and of the day that original photograph was taken, an experience that contributes to the restorative process in overcoming the painful impact of loss. This project provides a platform, allowing others to acknowledge their loss, to celebrate the person they love and to show that the loss that they’ve experienced does not have to dictate their identity.
Still photographs, Interview transcriptions, Audio interview, Photofilms (consisting of the still imagery paired with the audio interview). A selection of these elements can be considered for exhibition according to the space and stories selected. The exhibition could also incorporate installation elements (dependant on the available space) depicting some of the physical expressions of grief referred to in the participant interviews e.g. The black hole of grief, or putting your grief in a larger space so it doesn't feel so overwhelming.
I am looking to exhibit the Loved&Lost project in London towards the end of 2020 to showcasing the project in it’s completed form. There are currently 20 stories published on the site, with further stories in process. I have been commissioned by Sheffield Museum to create a series of new stories for Loved&Lost, which are due to be exhibited alongside other stories from the project at the beginning of 2020. Once the project has been exhibited in Sheffield, I will possess the series of framed prints required to exhibit the project in other locations.
Alongside the exhibition in Sheffield, I shall be producing a publication to support the show. This will contain all of the stories from Loved&Lost and be a comprehensive version of the project in print format. I am currently in discussions with photobook publishers regarding the book. However, if a suitable publisher cannot be found, having received two previous successful grants, I shall be applying to Arts Council England for funding support to realise the publication, alongside raising private funding.
Press & Exhibitions
Loved&Lost has previously been exhibited at Oriel Colwyn, Colwyn Bay, with forthcoming exhibitions at Manchester Cathedral in 2019 and Sheffield Museum in 2020.
The project has also been displayed at The Southbank Centre, London and The Whitworth, Manchester as part of events connecting art and our response to death.
A 3-minute feature was filmed for BBC Breakfast TV in Penzance, Cornwall, sharing Maike's story, with an estimated audience of 800k. A version of the feature edited for social media is available here: https://www.facebook.com/bbcbreakfast/videos/2235152096498916/
A piece for BBC In Pictures explores three stories from Loved&Lost, reaching an audience of 900k in the first week: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-44740133
An article in The Guardian explores the origins of the project from my personal experience of loss: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jul/08/how-an-old-photograph-has-helped-me-with-the-death-of-my-father
I worked with BBC Stories to produce a short documentary film about the project, which was shown across BBC online and social media channels. It has currently been viewed by 33k people.
Below are examples of work from the project, with a biography below. Please visit the project site to explore the photofilm, still photography and longform interview for each story.
Simon Bray is a Manchester based artist, who develops projects exploring place, through photography, text and sound, investigating our connection to place and its influence on our personal identity.
Simon is currently working with photographer Martin Parr, producing a new commission for Manchester Art Gallery, to be exhibited later this year. In 2017, Simon was one of 6 artists invited to undertake a Jerwood sponsored fellowship with Manchester International Festival, working alongside Hong Kong based artist Samson Young. He was also invited to make new work for the publication ‘This Is The Place’, by Tony Walsh & Friends after the Manchester bombing.
in 2016, Simon collaborated with artist Tom Musgrove on landscapes project 'The Edges Of These Isles', supported by a 120-page self-published book sponsored by G.F SMITH and documentary film.
Simon's work has been shown at The Whitworth, The Southbank Centre, Brewery Arts Kendal, Open Eye, CFCCA and Oriel Colwyn. His work has been published by The Guardian, BBC In Pictures, BBC Stories, Lodestars Anthology, Outdoor Photography, Positive News, NME, Clash and Pasture.