Spencer Murphy, Mum & Kevin on the Bed, 2002, C- print, Ed# 2/18

Spencer Murphy, “Mum & Kevin on the Bed”, 2002, C- print, Ed# 2/18

Spencer Murphy

Approximately ten years ago my parents separated. Both my mother and father took up with new partners, fifteen years younger, both of whom had teenage children of their own.

As the years went by, I became increasingly distant from these two newly formed families because they offered little resemblance to the family I had been raised by or what one would see my family’s album. I wanted to take pictures that emerged from both my memories and my present perception of the current family. The images I created, re-staged snapshots, were an effort to deal with some of my most intense childhood memories, including the break down of my parent’s marriage and my father’s alcoholism.

Though the project began as an experiment and focused on how I judge those closest to me, I now realize that much more than that, it became a way for me accept my family as they are now.

Spending time with my family during this project has allowed me to better understand myself and my family’s hopes and dreams. In shaping them into a reflection of myself, I have come to understand how similar we are.

Spencer Murphy (Islington, England) earned his BA in Photography from Falmouth College of Arts. His work has been shown at Darmstädter Tage der Fotografie in Germany, and in the UK at AOP Gallery, Gallery 47, the Falmouth Arts Center, and the Metro Imaging Bursary. He has worked as a freelance photographer for Anderson and Low, Ben Stockley, David Stewart, and assisted David Sykes and Julia Fullerton-Batten. His work has been published in the British Journal of Photography, Design Week, In Camera, Korean Monthly Photo, Shots, Surf Europe, and Waves. Murphy was awarded a 2006 Magenta Foundation Grant for Emerging Photographers, a 2005 UK Arts Council Grant, and two 2004 Fuji film/AOP Assistant Awards.