In 2011, while driving home one evening, the traffic slowed and my attention was drawn to a crumbling house by the side of the road. The paint was the colour of the sea and there were peeled patches exposing the Bermuda stone beneath. The louvered window was filthy but the glow of a lamp from within revealed just enough to ignite my curiosity. Framing the rows of glass was a luxurious brocade curtain that looked more like it belonged in a Venetian palazzo than an old Bermuda cottage.
At that moment I began contemplating a collection of photographs showing people at home. Beautiful, authentic portraits, shot with natural light that would reveal the essence of each subject. I could immediately visualise the exhibition; the paper I would use for the images and precisely how they would be displayed. Then, once the project was underway, I realised that a book would be a wonderful complement to the exhibition and a more complete and permanent way to share the stories. And so began my Tapestry of Tales.
I am a story-teller and for the last twenty-four years, as a fine art photographer, I have captured images of people and places around the world, not just to document them, but to evoke an emotional response.
A few years ago I read a book in which the protagonist said that he believed that words are inherently more interesting than pictures. As an image-maker, I am not sure I agree. I believe that there is a symbiotic relationship between the two that creates a clearer and more potent message. As such, my goal with this project has been to pair powerful imagery with ardent text.
Originally I just planned to knock on the doors that called to me and hope that I would be invited in. But, after deciding to publish a book as well as having an exhibition, I felt that the inclusion of a selection of curated portraits would weave a more interesting tapestry. They say that you should write what you know, so sprinkled throughout are portraits of people I know - a few by accident and some by design.
I was asked why I had chosen the heart for the book cover and realised that at the time it had been purely because I was fond of that particular image.
As my journey progressed, however, the heart became the perfect symbol for the project as it was clear that this book was not really about people and their homes but about love.
That while spending time with people, regardless of age, family dynamic or socioeconomic status, the common thread was love, and that everyone I met is nostalgic, treasures their memories, their family history and the objects they cherish are not valuable, but sentimental.
Home really is where the heart is.