A very nice image sharing challenge has been doing the rounds on Facebook over the past few weeks, with the idea that photographers share five black and white photos from their archives over five days, and each day the posting photographer is to nominate another photographer to do the same. I have really been enjoying watching this develop and have seen some incredible work by some of my photographer friends, including Grant Turner, George Fetting, Belinda Pratten, Adam Hollingworth, Simona Bonnano, Jeffrey Ladd, Philip Gostelow, Jake Nowakowski and Tom Williams, amongst others.
I have been nominated to show five images by some of the photographers named above, and I thought I would post them here on my website so they may be seen by a wider audience than those of my friends on Facebook. Each day I will nominate a photographer friend or a friend who photographs to do the same.
About my five images: In October 2011 my mum Felicity fell over and broke her femur. Having already had a hip replacement a few years earlier, she needed immediate surgery to have her relatively new titanium hip joint 'revised'. A hip revision means that the replacement hip is taken out and then a new one is inserted, with a much longer stem embedded deep into the femur bone. I get queasy even thinking about it.
The surgery seemed to go well, but Felicity's recovery was painful and slower than expected. We were told that she had circulation problems, and her limbs swelled up leaving her bed ridden for weeks. As time went on things seemed as if they would never get better. To make matters worse, Felicity suffered a cardiac arrest while she was in hospital, which almost killed her. I remember a doctor coming in to see my father and I only minutes after the arrest and he told us that mum had been revived but that she had been gone for eight minutes. It was likely that brain injury would occur. Later we were told that it was unlikely that mum would live.
Prior to mum's cardiac arrest, after which she spent six weeks in Intensive Care, she asked me to photograph her in her hospital bed. Mum told me that she wanted to have a record of what her body looked like after the operation to have her hip replaced. The date on the camera tells me that it was November 3 2011. I have decided to post one of these images a day over the next five days.
At the same period that mum was in hospital, I took quite a bit of time off work and began taking long walks with our family dog. I needed to walk to relieve the stress of the situation. During my walks I started photographing the trees and landscape around our family home in Canberra, while at the same time making of pictures of mum in hospital when I went to visit her every day.
Last Friday it was Felicity's 76th birthday and all this suddenly came back to me very vividly. I feel like it is the right time to show and share these images for the first time.