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Ryan Allen

My mother had multiple sclerosis from before I was born. I never knew any different, other than knowing her as a sick person and my father as her carer. My father had to function as two parents to my brother and I, with an unquantifiable impact on our experience of growing up into men.

FathoM is a visual diary, exploring my fear of transience in response to witnessing the body’s vulnerability. The slow deterioration caused by the illness produced an acute awareness in me of how fragile we are: it’s like I’m waiting for the past to repeat itself. 

In my project, I gradually began to piece together intuitive imagery that materialised a sense of loss, and a malaise about the body. By recollecting family experiences through the camera, I contemplate the mystery of my lost relationship with my mother. I remember the beauty and fear in the undervalued work of caring that my father carried out with strength and devotion.

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