I was awarded an RPS Fellowship Distinction for this Contemporary Panel of 21 images.
The Statement Of Intent
People often feel lonely, but none more so than those touched by cancer. Whether it be those who might die, or the ones left behind, many will see their friends and neighbours drift away. As if unable to find the right words, the unaffected will suddenly have other, more important things to do.
Being touched by cancer can bring about an overwhelming feeling of despair. For those living alone, many will find themselves isolated. The comfort of home provides a safe place to hide, but with their friends gone, life will become boring and repetitive. They become detached from their surroundings, floating aimlessly, merely existing, and without purpose. Simple decisions, what to eat or where to sit, become harder. It’s a downward spiral. Some knowing their life is nearing an end. The bereaved, forever recounting the suffering they once shared.
The photographs, intended to stress similarities, are also repetitive – as is the feeling of social isolation. But the order in which they are displayed, breaks the expected, adding texture to the underlaying structure, enticing the eye to wander. Attention is extended, providing time to connect with the issue, whilst resolving the triptychs. I hope this explains why it was necessary to exceed the number of prints normally required and why the stylisation is so consistent.
Feeling cancer is an issue I deal with – much like the seven subjects seen here. I chose to depict that loneliness without cliché, but organically, in a way that would convey emotional detachment. It is my contribution to help in raising public awareness. Loneliness should not be an inevitable consequence.
Mike Naylor - September 2014