Near

Ongoing

One morning in 2005 I woke and, with a sudden immediacy, feared the fragility of things. What if tomorrow someone close died? I needed to hold on and photograph those transient moments of intimacy shared only between us, yet common to most. I needed to investigate what is close, and to explore the complexities and challenges of love and belonging. Was there such a thing as family identity? That morning, Near was born - it is an ongoing portrait of my family.

Our story is commmon to the 21st century - we're spread across four countries and three continents. We are animators, architects, engineers, social workers, therapists, carpenters, filmmakers and dreamers. Together, we've come through cancer and suicide.

Near is inspired by an urgency I find in the ordinary - those split seconds of "insignificant" that ultimately make up the core our lives, and loves. A hand on a washing line, in habit and in rush. The way a towel is folded, gently, in perfect routine. My mother holding her hands behind her back while we walk, always in the same way. A hair on a pillow, a sunburn, a sound. Harbouring us from the shadow of time, these things promise safety. They become moments layered in a mountain of meaning only climbed in hindsight.



As time accelerates her rhythm through our lives, there are distances in the family, ever-repeated periods of together and apart. There are birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, funerals. Some we share, most we spend in different corners of the globe. In times of absence the images I make become, for all of us, certificates of presence. Reflecting different states of nearness, they form a patchwork of personal histories, collective narratives and rituals of the everyday. Our family's emotions, as much as the physicality of our migrant existence, are forever in transit.