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.
I am looking to exhibit the Loved&Lost project towards the end of 2018 or 2019 to showcase the project in it’s existing form. There are currently 12 stories published on the site, with 6 other that have been shot but are waiting to be edited. I have a further 5 participants lined up to take part in the project and I wish to continue building the body of work beyond the exhibition. 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.
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.
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 documentary & landscape artist, who develops projects exploring place through photography and sound, investigating our connection to place and it’s influence on our personal identity through narratives and the notion of journey.
Simon has just completed a Jerwood fellowship with Manchester International Festival, working alongside Hong Kong based artist Samson Young for his commission ‘One of Two Stories, or Both’, which involved making a photograph for the installation currently on show at CFCCA, Manchester, as well as playing drums within the radio compositions.
His collaborative landscapes project 'The Edges Of These Isles' was exhibited at The Whitworth, Manchester, supported by a 120-page self published book sponsored by G.F Smith and a 25 minute documentary film about the project made by DoodledoMOTION. The project is currently exhibited at Brewery Arts, Kendal, as part of Kendal Mountain Festival and is anticipated to be seen by an audience of over 10,000 people.
His documentary project 'Duality' explores the perception of the individual through uniform, and was exhibited at Brighton Photo Biennial. He has also displayed work at The Southbank Centre and conducted a talk at Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool. His work has been published in The Guardian, BBC In Pictures, Manchester Evening News, NME, Clash and Outdoor Photography. His latest book 'The Limited Findings of a Westerner's Short Stay in Rajasthan' was published by Let's Explore Publishers in April 2017.