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30th December

Simon Bray

“On 30th December 2009, three days before his 52nd birthday, my dad passed away. After over fours years of trying to stop the cancer from altering his life, it got the better of him. He left us with the words, ‘faith in action’, to act on that which we believe, not a sentiment that I had heard him mention before, but one that I will never forget.

Taking photographs suddenly became difficult, for months nothing seemed significant enough to be worthy of capturing in an image. It seemed trivial.

Each year as the 30th day of December came around, we would spend time as a family and return to a place that was significant to dad, and just be together. Each year, with that physical acknowledgement of my loss, my desire to make photographs again grew.

Now as a means of ritual and recognition, but more importantly my greatest means of expressing that which is within me, on that day I go and make photographs. Sometimes they are bleak, cold or empty; sometimes they are hopeful, amusing or feel more complete. This set of images was taken at dawn in Winchester, Hampshire — the place he had called home for the majority of his life.

This year, and every year as long as I am able, I shall do the same. Wherever I am in the world, on 30th December, I shall go out and make photographs.”

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