Published in September
ESSAY BY PATRICIA BAKER-CASSIDY
Paddy Summerfield's Home Movie tells the oldest story, the saddest story, a story that includes the story-teller. It is the Fall of Man, falling from innocence into exile, a dark world of claustrophobic interiors, of low life bars and stained streets, of casual fornication in shabby bed and breakfast rooms.
It is the fall from grace into forbidden spaces, where secrets fester behind closed doors and weary eyes. And it is a fall into nightmare and psychosis, where the self, in sickness, peoples the world with terrors. These are squalid scenes, such as Dostoevsky might have recognised, expressing the madness and obsession of those imprisoned there. Even looking at such a world, at such pictures, feels transgressive.
Home Movie leads us into darkness, but the journey is always a search, suggested by the final pictures moving away from corrosive indulgences and pain towards enlightenment. The last sequence starts with hands praying, in a gesture of remorse and contrition. Then the camera flashes in a dusty mirror, prefiguring the moment of peace when a sunset ray of evening light pierces that garden at dusk.
Oxford-based, Paddy Summerfield trained at Guildford School of Art in the Photography and the Film departments. Photographs he took in 1967, when still a first year student, were published in Album, and spreads in Creative Camera received encouraging recognition. His work has been shown in many galleries, including the ICA, The Barbican, The Serpentine Gallery, The Photographers’ Gallery, MOMA, Oxford) and is in the collections of the Arts Council and of the V&A, as well as in numerous private collections. His first book, Mother And Father (2014. Dewi Lewis Publishing) was widely acclaimed, and included in several of the ‘Best Photobooks of The Year’ lists.
Mother And Father will be reprinted later this year in a revised edition.
£30.00 Clothbound hardback
116 pages, 78 duotone plates
220mm x 245mm