The project Pictures of My Father is a response to the death of my father, George Day, in 2008. My images and work as an artist are primarily concerned with the banal and everyday, so I make images, which are of my immediate locations, geographies and personal anonymities. In life, (what we chose not to record) that which can be overlooked as not being considered exotic or exciting enough is where I look for photographs and ideas. It is about making the everyday epic.
Pictures of My Father is a project about living with grief. I am recording the space in seemingly abandoned domestic rooms, the surfaces and trying to image the traces of life there, at 27 Devon Way, Brighouse. It is futile but necessary. I am not sure we ever come to terms with loss, but my project places this grief at the centre so that it can be communicated, measured and discussed. Being present in my fathers house, where I lived for long periods of time prior to and whilst making these images, the past disrupts the present, so writing and photographing, was a way to make something about the relationship between myself, my father (family) in the now and past part-remembered. In this house and its empty space I made some images and remained, images of being, being there and being present.
The title of the project is Pictures of My Father but there are no pictures of my father, but he is everywhere and nowhere in the works. The images record the empty house, an absence but in which there is everything, in which he is ever present, almost visible and the words are written whilst I remembered and mis-remembered some of our last times together. Ironically whilst searching through packets of photographs after I had completed the project and the house was sold, I came across a number of images taken by my father of the inside of the house. It looks like he is testing the camera as he points it out of focus around the house and even at himself. The picture came back with a ‘quality control’ sticker affixed and further advice about how to improve image taking. Perhaps he knew.