I’m pleased to have picked up my copy of “Mother” yesterday by Matthew Finn. Mother, is a collection of images Matthew has made with his Leica spanning 30 years. The book opens with a deeply personal and revealing introduction contextualising the dynamic and emotional environment of a family in Leeds UK. The carefully selected black and white images tell a story of his relationship with his mum in and around the home while she conducts her daily household chores. It’s a very familiar heart-warming narrative that I would hope everyone can relate to and identify with. Sadly and abruptly however Matthews’s mother develops dementia and the story ends with a powerful, deeply moving and humbling study of absence; pre-empting the inevitable that we all know is coming but somehow manage to ignore during our own fleeting existence. Mortality!
I met Matthew over half my life ago; I was an art student at Ridge Street School of Art & Design just starting my second year. Matt was in the corridor at College leaning casually against the photography office wall wearing an Iron Maiden tee shirt slurping noisily from a cup of tea. He was to be for the next 2 years my photography tutor, mentor and inspiration: as well as a drinking buddy and curry connoisseur. I remember the very technical approach of darkroom printing that allowed you to have control and consistency in your images explained so simply that it has stuck with me forever. As well as many a Friday night after college in the pub; with other likeminded students who thrived in the stimulus of creativity and discussion who didn’t want the days learning experience to end.
I met Matt in the pub yesterday for a few pints of Guinness. He regaled me with his recent experience of being represented by Dewi Lewis publishing at “Rencontres d’Arles”, the annual photography festival in France. It sounded like it was an intense overload experience of fine art photography gently softened by overpriced beer. He also spoke of the future for his work with great optimism and I certainly hope that it all comes into fruition. I can think of no one more deserving.
If you would like to buy a copy of Matthews book, click on the image above or here.