Christopher Anderson’s reflection on love, time and family revisited

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“These photographs are not a documentation or story telling or even art. They are declarations of Love”

Captain christopher Anderson’s latest book, SON, takes the form of the older series revisited. It is distinct from the photography for which he garnered critical acclaim. Documentary work, significantly the particular images he created on the small wooden boat together with 44 Haitians attempting to sail to the US. The ship eventually sank in the Caribbean. These earlier images are raw and gritty, depicting the fragility of existence. However , following the birth of their first child, Atlas, in 2008, Anderson’s focus moved towards his family. In 2012, he published SON , followed by Pia in 2020, with both books intimately documenting the time round the birth of his son then his daughter. Now, publisher Stanley/Barker possess re-released SON with 40 additional images charting Anderson and Atlas’ relationship as much as today.

Anderson’s transition in order to photographing family life subsequent Atlas’ birth coincided together with his father’s lung cancer diagnosis. Naturally, SON became a reflection on life and death — a theme that echoes throughout Anderson’s earlier reportage work. However , within this series, the photographer makes use of his ability to capture the particular joys and sorrows of life with beautiful subtlety. His images are not because confronting as earlier function. Instead, a rose-tinted colour scheme engulfs each frame.

Within SON , Anderson never directly tackles if his father remains alive. Rather, it continues to be an unanswered question — the only suggestion being their disappearance from the photographs as the sequence progresses. One image captures his father strolling into the distance as Atlas and Anderson’s wife see. We may read the frame since symbolic of the transition unfolding: the changing of the guard between generations of Anderson’s family. When reflecting for the work, Anderson says, “my senses were hyper tuned to the evidence of my own living passing. ”

Anderson’s struggle with time comes through. Inside a letter to Atlas, this individual writes, “I can’t remain sacrificing even one day along with you”. Indeed, the book feels like an attempt to preserve something of life’s fleeting moments. Anderson frames beauty within even the most mundane of domestic circumstances. And, within doing so, he pushes the viewer to meditate over the themes addressed independently plus concerning their families as well.  

SON is released by Stanley/Barker.

Benedict Moore

Benedict Moore graduated through Manchester School of Art with a BA in digital photography this summer. He is currently London-based, working as a studio associate at Big Sky Studios, and as a photographer plus writer, specialising in photography and art.

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