/18 Family

Jonny Briggs

Close to Home

The Close To Home series involves digitally altered family photographs,
which are physically montaged back over their unedited originals;
juxtaposing two constructed realities. Both my Mother and her Mother’s
heads are montaged on to the bodies of the children, flipping roles,
relationships and situations.

When I was younger my Father and I had a difficult relationship, and perhaps
because of this I desperately wanted to be part of my Mother and
four older sisters’ world; to wear the same clothes, play with the same toys
and even go to the same public toilets. It was at a stage when I didn’t yet
understand these complexities of adult life and the sacrifices required
in order to follow them; I just wanted to be part of the social group.

Through this new body of work, the inaccessible tribe of my sisters is shown,
often with myself appearing as if I shouldn’t be in the photographs
within this other world. On the surface it appears to be a place where my
Father is absent – yet he is ever-present as it is his eyes behind the lens.
His gaze dominates the series, and therefore this could be seen as
juxtaposing my Father and I’s gaze.

The domino effect of inheritance emerges alongside notions of conformity,
closeness and rituals. The domestic shrine-like installation and imposter
colours (magenta and cyan), embroidery, shapes and characters remind me of portals
to another world. Referencing my religious upbringing and aspects of
the supernatural, these take inspiration from photographs of suspected
poltergeist activity and domestic disturbances.