“a profound and deeply beautiful work of art” Eileen Hansen – Blurb
RELEASED is a book of photographs, writings and poems, conceived and produced in the months immediately following Josh’s death by his dad Jimmy. It is self published by BLURB.
It seemed to take ages before I could bring myself to record in any way the fact of Joshua’s death. But as a film editor by profession and a photographer at heart, I guess I was compelled inevitably to produce something out of this tragedy. In the end I found making this book an important way of coming to terms with our loss.
In those early days of our grief, we were already thinking of making some kind of film tribute to Joshua, but this is necessarily a collaborative process, and I did want to speak of Josh in my own way, and on my own. We all have different ways of dealing with grief and there is a moment when this must happen in solitude. I’ve never made a book before, still less written much beyond letters and emails, so it was quite a surprise when I discovered the power of words and that I could make them up and put them some kind of order that made sense for other people.
Up until that point I had found that the emotive power of photography was more to my liking. By producing a strong ‘graphic’ image – something that catches the eye and then leads you in to a deeper connection with the subject matter – for me that’s the most rewarding way to express my thoughts and ideas. Even better with a series of photographs.
“RELEASED” then is a photographic elegy for Joshua. The title refers to the label on the container holding Joshua’s ashes, on which the word ‘released’ appeared. This became my starting point by which I tried to find a way through my own grief, making and using photographs as a way of trying to understand Josh’s death and to find some way acknowledging feelings and emotions that were so new and so raw
As much as the book is a memorial to Josh and to those who now grieve for him, it’s an exploration of photography itself. As I have discovered, there is a ‘chaos of meaning lying at the heart of photography which mirrors almost exactly the confusions I have felt since losing him. I’ve also been aware of the intimate possibilities between photography and poetry and I wanted to explore how pictures and words could address the nature of our grief and its place in our common humanity. Above all I wanted it to be a story, particularly the story of where Joshua is now.