Photographer: Matthew Parry
Camera: Nescafe Azera Coffee - Homemade Solography can
Film: 5x7 Ilford Multigrade IV Pearl Paper
Scanner: Epson V550
Lab: Self Developed
A photograph often captures a moment; fragmentary, fleeting, maybe even a decisive one. Pinhole photography changes that dynamic, and solography close to completely inverts it: A length of elapsed time, within which lie countless passing moments, none (and all) of which are captured.
This exposure is about 4-5 months long, from early August to December and It is the passing of one particular event in late August just a few miles away from where it was captured, that gives it meaning.
This was the only solography can that I have put up in the garden of my childhood home. Not far away from this house, maybe a mile, lived S. We went to secondary school together and for a good few years were really close friends. We explored, went camping, drank, and consumed bad movies and good music.
Although I didn't really think too much of it as a child, S suffered from his childhood with severe chronic neuropathic pain in his leg. It's not like I didn't notice; I remember it well. Not all negatively either, I have fond memories of skipping queues at Alton Towers post-operation, and precariously carrying him in his wheelchair down the steps at our irresponsibly inaccessible school. But he seemed to carry on regardless. S was a well grounded individual, and not one to complain about his ills. Though as it turns out, he did suffer. He suffered enough that he relied on strong painkillers day-to-day from his early teens.
After school ended and people went their separate ways, we lost touch (though I stayed in contact in a superficial social media type way). He lived with his partner and had a son sometime around 2013, still in our hometown. There is a big chunk of his life at this point that I know little about. Time in which I could have- but did not- get in touch.
On 30th August 2018, at the age of 31, I was to discover that S had died. During that lost time, the reliance on pain medication had developed into an opiate dependency which long term led to his tragic unintentional overdose one sunny afternoon in August. This image contains, amongst other things, his final sun trail across the sky. It will forever serve as a reminder of a missed companion, of an old friend, of S.