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Coffee with Mike

I began the images in this series a few days after my dad died, very shortly before Christmas 2020. I started photographing on 35mm digital and then switched to large format film. All of these pictures are taken in the house that dad lived in for over fifty years with my mum, who died a few years previously. It was also my own home until I was about 19, and, briefly, the home of my brother Rupert and sister Caroline who had both died by the time I was five.

This is a project about identity (I was briefly the eldest and then suddenly became an only) and the randomness of two people meeting and falling in love - and how neither of them knew that they were both carriers of a very rare and fatal genetic condition. I was in the luckiest quartile because both my X and Y chromosomes are as they should be. For my siblings it was sudden and fatal, and at the time no-one knew just what had caused their deaths. These images are part of a growing body of work exploring these events through family folklore and myths, scientific facts, what-if's, the passing of time and seeing the past as a seedbed of the new.

© Oliver Woods 2021