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.
Publisher: Dewi Lewis Publishing (2021)
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.
FullBleed presents Paddy Summerfield and his photo essay, Mother & Father. Having lived with his parents in Oxford for most of his life, Paddy eventually turned the camera on them capturing the gradual demise of the couple, from his mother developing Alzheimer’s and his father becoming her carer to the eventual death of them both.
Book Specs: Home Movie by Paddy Summerfield published by Dewi Lewis Publishing (2021) | Clothbound hardback | 116 pagess | 78 duotone plates | 220mm x 245mm | ISBN: 978-1-911306-77-1. Available here.
Oxford-based, Paddy Summerfield trained at Guildford School of Art in the Photography and the Film departments. 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.
His first book, Mother And Father (2014, Dewi Lewis Publishing) was widely acclaimed and will reprinted later this year in a revised edition.