This is tough, this is much harder than I expected to write and I’m not sure where to start.
This is the most intimate piece of work I have ever attempted to create and whilst the vast majority of my photography is strongly influenced and informed by my own emotional response and vision, I have never before turned the camera on myself – not in the way I have done so over the last 6 months. I’m not even entirely clear on why I have done this and why I am sharing it. All I know for sure is that the last 6 months have been shocking, mentally demanding, tearful, hopeful, full of fear, anxiety and experiences I have never imagined having whilst, at the same time, shown me how wonderfully caring people can; reinforced just how vital the landscape, cycling, walking, photography are to my wellbeing. And, that, as a result, I wanted in some way, to try and create a diary, a set of images that act as prompts. It may sound like the kind of experience you would try to forget, but there is a part of me that wants to remember. That wants to be able to recall the chronology, the events, the difficult, the support and concern from family and friends, the incredible care, the human.
In late July 2020 I fell ill, really ill it turns out, quickly.
In the space of 5 days quickly.
I went from fit and healthy, cycling 60 miles to hospital admission.
On the 1st August 2020 I was told I had an acute form of Leukaemia.
Eventually, once I realised I was going to live, at least, there was hope I would, I started going out walking (I wasn’t able to ride). Short walks at first – a few hundred metres slowly building up to longer and longer walks.
And I picked up my camera.
These are the first photographs that I have shared, which form part of this ongoing story. I aim to turn this into a full body of work, which will be posted onto a gallery later in the year. But for now, I wanted to share a small selection and start to write my story.