Yearly Archives: 2014

Do you Know? 

Dear Grandfather,

Do you know that today it’s been two years since your passing. That two years and one day ago we sang sea shanties by your bed side, plaited your soft white hair and whispered in your ear how much we love you.

Do you know that on Fridays we still go to Ying Wah. That we still eat together as a family, tell stories and take turns reading our fortune cookies to each other. That many of the same old faces are there and that they still bring out an ice cream cake for your birthday.

Do you know that I wake up in your room. That I look in the same mirror you faced for 50 years, wash in the same tub, eat breakfast from the bowls that you and Grandma saved for, that I sit at your place at the table.

Do you know that in that in the mornings the cockatoos still come by. That they tap on the window, squawk, chip the paint from the rails and that the lorikeets still rule the roost.

Do you know that on the fridge we have a piece of paper. That on that piece of paper we write down all the things that you and Grandma said. That we treasure these pearls of wisdom, mispronounced words, echoes across the bay and memories from times gone by.

Do you know how much we miss the small things. The stale biscuits, the mouldy salads, the Hawaiian shirts, the ‘all year round’ knee high socks and shorts, the mothball eaten jumpers, the holey shoes, soft white hair, nose whiskers, big hands, the bear hugs, the booming voice, your farewells from the front porch, and the way you would blow us kisses over the back of your hand.

Most of all we miss the way you made us feel when we were in your presence.

Yet the love and encouragement and warmth will stay with us always.

Love you Grandfather.

Alfred Leslie Innis Vaughan 1915 – 2012

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This is the first official photo from my series ‘In Their Element’ to be released. I was so suprised when I asked  photographer Tamara Dean if she would be interested in playing a part in this project – she said yes before I’d even shown her the work (this is testament to how open and generous Tamara is as a person and artist). I’ve always loved and admired Tamara’s work for the hauntingly beautiful narratives, the level of intimacy and trust she shares with her subjects, and the freedom her images portray. It’s Tamara’s receptivity and abandon that made the experience of photographing her so special.

Working on this series (‘In Their Element’) has given me the opportunity to explore the quiet determination and solitude of the artistic spirit. The isolation. The combined resilience and openheartedness required to overcome the many challenges that artists face. This photograph was taken at Tamara’s home in Sydney’s southwest. Hanging in the background is a canvas of her work ‘The Pack’.

I’m delighted that this image is one of 40 photographs selected this year for the 2014 Head On Photographic Portrait Prize finals, and will tour with the festival from Australia to New Zealand, China and the U.S.