Look, I'm wearing all the colours is an intensely intimate visual exploration of a relationship lived with invisible illness as a third person. It explores my journey as both husband and photographer trying to understand my wife’s illness. It is a love story full of dignity, empathy and passion.
I started photographing Zara in the first throes of our romance. Images of eating, sleeping, kissing, laughing and nights out were soon joined by images of flare-ups, bruising, tears and hospital visits. Zara has fibromyalgia, hypermobility, OCD and depression - conditions causing her constant pain, both physically and mentally. They lead to life often feeling like it lacks cohesion and order - they can be overwhelming. I soon learned that this was something we were both going through, and I needed to make sense of our day-to-day life.
Taking these photographs allowed me to look back and reflect on our life within and around these conditions, and captures how I cope with them as a husband. This book gives all three entities in the relationship a voice.
The sequencing of the book takes the reader into our world and through the rollercoaster of emotions using a range of photographic approaches, including portraits, still life and snapshots.
This project has been 13 years in the making and your support will help realise my dream of publishing this book. I believe that storytelling can help drive social change and by showing the often unseen aspects of life with invisible illness, I hope to raise awareness and eliminate stigma.
You can support this project by buying one of the rewards, including copies of the book, signed postcards, limited edition prints, photography lessons, portrait sessions and more. NEW REWARDS (added 24 May) include Tintype Portrait (like these) and Cinnamon Buns (Zara's favourites). I would also really appreciate your help in sharing this campaign far and wide on social media.
In 2018 the proof copy of Look, I’m wearing all the colours was nominated for MACK's First Book Award (by Anna Clarén). In 2017 it was exhibited as part of SICK - Living with Invisible Illness (UK) and I also spoke about the project at the Spegla Photo Festival (Sweden) and at the London Institute of Photography.
“There is a spread in the book featuring a hospital corridor that you can never leave and a silhouette of the photographer behind a window. This is about the man, the photographer who is telling us this story. It tells us that he is tired, feeling trapped by his wife’s illness. That he is afraid of not having the strength. He wonders where he fits into all of this. But he knows there is no return. He loves her and will never let her go.” Anna Clarén, photographer
“Throughout, the book is loving, gripping and tender. It looks more than just good - some images are magnificent! They offer an insight into this difficult illness.” Anders Petersen, photographer
Despite the increased awareness about mental health and certain conditions, many people living with invisible illnesses often face mistrust. A common challenge is doubt from friends, family and even medical professionals (imagine that reaction if you had a broken leg). Lady Gaga recently spoke about her struggle with fibromyalgia in her Netflix documentary 'Five Foot Two’, bringing the condition into the spotlight.
Whilst this book is a personal story, I hope it speaks for other people too.
THE BEAUTIFUL DETAILS
Look, I’m wearing all the colours will be an elegantly designed hardback book, printed on high quality paper and expertly bound. It will be printed at Narayana Press in Denmark which has made books for many of Scandinavia's leading photographers.
- 120 pages and over 70 photographs
- 10x8 inches (20.3 x 25.4cm)
- Hard cover, section sewn binding and coloured endsheets
- Offset printing
- Introductory text by Rikard Österlund
- Distribution date: autumn 2018
The funding will pay for the printing, distribution, Kickstarter fees and the cost of making and shipping the rewards. I am not looking to recoup any money or time I have invested in the project.
- £6900 - Printing and binding costs
- £250 - Travel to printers
- £1090 - The cost to make the rewards, including prints, postcards, postage and packaging
- £720 - Kickstarter fees
Any funds that we raise beyond the target will go towards the book launch, free community talks and making the book even more special.
I hope that with your support the campaign reaches it goal and can be sent to print at Narayana Press. A book launch will then be arranged to celebrate which of course you will all be invited to!
ALL OR NOTHING
This is an all or nothing campaign; if I don’t reach the funding goal you will not be charged and the book will not be made. So if you like this project - please help us by sharing it!
A big warm thank you from Zara and me.
Risks and challenges
There are very few risks associated with this project. The photographs and design of the book are mostly complete and the next step is the printing. The proof copy of the book seen in the pictures and video above may change slightly, but only for the better.
I pride myself with being 'Swedishly organised' and I will do my best to keep everything on schedule for the release in October 2018.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)