When a person lives outside the norms of a lifestyle accepted by the majority of their society, it is easy to judge them as somehow anomalous to how life “should” be lived. When that person is close to you, it can be both easier and more difficult to accept them as they are without prejudice. In today’s world our collective tolerance for otherness often feels as though it is narrowing – especially in countries such as the UK, where there is media and marketing pressure to adhere to consumerism and an outward presentation of self that conforms to the aspirations dictated by commerce. I have chosen to focus on my Father. Because of the dissonance I feel when faced by someone actively living in juxtaposition to the things that the society I live in pushes me to value. I admire his longstanding refusal to engage with values he has not chosen, but ultimately this has precipitated a withdrawal from accepted living standards that I am not comfortable with. It is unlikely that I am alone in walking this line - feeling a want to help someone who in fact has no desire for help and would not view themselves as in need of any. But the line becomes ever less clear as the inexorable vulnerability of old age gradually reverses our relationship. You can read more about each picture by clicking to expand and then hitting the information icon.
This is my Father in 2016. It is about my struggle for reconciliation of a growing responsibility for someone I love, with their right to live as they choose.