Simon Bray – Loved & Lost
6th July - 18th August 2018
Simon Bray is a freelance documentary photographer based in Manchester. He lost his father to prostate cancer in December 2009.
"When my dad died, it wounded me in the deepest part of my being. The loss shaped the following few years of my life and will continue to do so, but I don’t have to let it define who I am. Through this time, it was really helpful to be able to talk about my Dad. I wanted to share with others about the person he was, the emotions I was feeling as I processed the grief, and talk about the influence he had - and continues to have - on my life. Those conversations were often hard and few and far between, mainly because people just didn't quite know how to respond."
Loved&Lost is a documentary project that explores our experiences of loss through photography and audio interview.
Each participant is asked to find a photograph of themselves with their lost loved one. We then return to the location of the original photograph to replicate the image.
It is a chance to think back and remember, to tell the story of that day and of the person that they have lost. Imagery allows for expression beyond what we can speak of, an experience that contributes to the restorative process in overcoming the painful impact of loss. This project provides a platform, allowing others to acknowledge their loss, to celebrate the person they love and to show that the loss that they’ve experienced does not have control over who they are.
“...created to help others who have experienced bereavement, to tell the story of a moment in time, acknowledge their loss and celebrate someone they love....a way of honouring that person.”
- The Guardian
We all have a different experience of loss that can reveal itself in many ways. Sometimes it’s a response that is quite clear for those around you to see. Perhaps there are lots of emotions that you just don’t know how to let out, you’re not sure how you should be feeling or whether it’s right to be having certain angry or complicated thoughts.
"When someone dies, it can be so shocking and you feel like it ought to be very very noisy, like people banging drums and playing trombones and shouting, and actually, it’s very quiet, because that person's gone, so you don't hear their voice anymore. After the funeral, you are left in a very quiet place, sometimes that can feel wrong because the feelings aren't very quiet.
"I hope others can see it as a conversation starter or a forum to talk about things that people don't want to talk about, because actually, if we talked about it, it might be easier to cope with afterwards."
Are you interested in taking part in the Loved&Lost Project?
The Loved&Lost project is designed to help people engage with their loss, regardless of what it looks like. The imagery allows for expression beyond what we can speak of and Simon hopes it can be an experience that contributes to the restorative process in overcoming the painful impact of loss.
Find out more at lovedandlostproject.co.uk