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
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 2019/2020 to showcase the project in it’s existing form. There are currently 16 stories published on the site, with 5 others in process. I will continue to welcome new participants to the project throughout 2018 in order to build a broad diversity of stories within the project. I am also currently exploring options to produce a series of 3 small publications over the course of 2018/19 alongside a bereavement charity, to be distributed to those who are recently bereaved.
Having received two previous successful grants, I shall be applying to Arts Council England for funding support to realise the exhibition and the continuation of the project. If this funding application is unsuccessful, I will raise private funding for the production of the exhibition.
Press & Exposure
A recent 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 also recently 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.
The project has previously been displayed at The Southbank Centre, London and The Whitworth, Manchester as part of events connecting art and our response to death. There is a small exhibition scheduled for July 2018 in Oriel Colwyn, Colwyn Bay.
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 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.
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, Outdoor Photography, Positive News, NME, Clash and Pasture.