Ghost Dad

Several years ago I met with author and consultant John Higgins in the turbine hall of the Tate Modern.  John took me through a some visual exercises which set me on this path which now includes masters degree, PhD, visual consulting, photo-dialogue and....

Since then, John has been busy too, publishing a couple of books (the most recent is Images of Authority) and I was recently met with him (in the Tate cafe) to be interviewed by him for his next book on fatherhood.  John asked me to think carefully about how I was experiencing myself as a father and, of course, my response was to think visually - and then to take a photograph:

The light was fading fast as I struggled to get the family together on the front lawn.  Actually, I was just testing the idea for a picture but it kind of took a life of its own.  I had a notion of the tight knit operation that Kate runs and my own more peripheral role - but I didn't really expect this.

The kids express a mix of scepticism and compliance with the process, Kate was rushing to do something else and has curiously dirty hands. I appear as a ghost. 

The picture jolted me so much I stuck it to my office wall to remind me that, no matter how busy I might be or hard I might choose to work, showing up as a ghost in my own family life stops now.

Work/life balance anyone?

Steve MarshallComment