Stuart Griffiths began taking photographs when he was a young soldier, carrying a sure-shot instamatic camera in his chest webbing, alongside 120 live bullets, water canisters and field dressings,
Closer is Griffiths first solo exhibition and includes two bodies of photographs: the first produced between 2003-2008, the second during the late 1980s and early 1990s. These photographs explore Griffiths personal feelings towards war and conflict, and respond to the unseen consequences of the ongoing campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Initially photographing socially excluded veterans who were living in hostels, treatments centres, or homeless, Griffiths investigation led him towards making intimate portraits of seriously injured veterans away from the intense bravado of military life. Alone and bored, isolated and recovering survivors of modern conflict, many of these men are in mourning for their former selves (as a nurse from a specialist treatment centre once described them to Griffiths).
Alongside these intimate portraits printed to monumental scale, Griffiths will also be showing an archive of photographs and ephemera from his time as a young soldier in the Parachute Regiment in Northern Ireland during the late 1980s and early 1990s. This exhibition questions the heroic notion and harsh reality of what it means to enlist to serve ones country, and what remains for veterans at the end of this dangerous and altruistic act.
This exhibition was selected from over 200 submissions to the Brighton Photo Fringe OPEN 2010 by Charlotte Cotton, Martin Parr and Val Williams.
- Name: stuartgriffiths
- Country: GB
- Website: http://www.stuartgriffiths.net
- Discipline: PHOTOGRAPHER