These portraits started during the summer of 2010 when I came to the stark realisation that my children are growing up and to a point, away from me, and that time passes and is never recaptured – we are only left with memories and photographs.
The images are taken on a 4x5 large format camera, using instant black and white film that requires me to slow down, to observe, allowing us to collaborate as mother and child. It is a very intimate, intense process. I wanted to capture moments of our school holidays together whether it be in play, at the mountains, at the sea, moments of contemplation, sleeping, sulking … moments that don’t necessarily record the act but will trigger the memory and emotion we felt in years to come when we look back and hold these images in our hand. I am photographing for the future as well as the present.
Why “September is the Cruellest Month”? Because it is the time when I have to let my children go back out into the world again without me. The summer holiday is now over. It’s a month that, for me, symbolises the passing of time. Back to school, back to their clubs, back to routine, progressing, moving on. Something we all embrace and want for them, but secretly wanting to hold back time a little bit longer. We can’t stop time but we can freeze it for a split second in our images.
Memory, Deborah Parkin Ed: John Wood, Galerie Vevais, Berlin, 2012 September is the Cruellest Month, Deborah Parkin Ed: John Wood, Galerie Vevais, Berlin, 2012 Stillness in Time, Deborah Parkin Ed: John Wood, Galerie Vevais, Berlin, 2012 Trilogy (box set including Sept/memory/Stillness, Deborah Parkin Ed: John Wood, Galerie Vevais, Berlin, 2012 William Ropp presents Deborah Parkin (monograph), Deborah Parkin Ed: William Ropp, Galerie Vevais, Berlin, 2012
I had always enjoyed the photograph as an object but with the birth of son came the need to record our lives. After the birth of my daughter I found that I was photographing as a way of exploring my own childhood memories as well as using it to document our lives.
My work is about emotion, stillness, childhood. It is about capturing a moment or a memory. Although my work is very personal, the intention is hopefully, that it is open enough for others to bring their own story to it.
I work with a variety of photographic mediums, from medium and large format cameras using film, to working with the Victorian Wet Plate Collodion Process. I love to work in a slow and considered way and one in which I collaborate with each child that sits before me.
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