This portrait, like most of my work, is the result of a chance meeting and is made in the time and place of that encounter, a Sunday afternoon outside subject’s flat as he was replanting tree saplings.
Most of these encounters are meaningful but brief. Sometimes however they flourish, either in that same moment or subsequently. This image is the result of a flourishing relationship in the same moment as I found and talked with Jerimiah in his garden.
It was quickly apparent to me that Jerimiah had led an interesting life but was perhaps, in that moment, in a more challenging place emotionally than he had been before. He disclosed certain information that hinted at this but rather than pry, I simply asked if I could take his picture. The conversation flowed easily, helped in part by a shared love of photography, and I wanted to see how far I might be able to take this moment and develop it further. I asked if perhaps we might take a few inside his flat, which being of Victorian build, offered huge windows and the promise of great light.
Jerimiah agreed and invited me up. Over a cup of tea, beautifully flavoured with cardamom, we talked and mused over our respective life experiences while Shostakovich played through his ancient but wonderful hi-fi. His flat was a treasure trove of curios and ornaments that told of his interests and idiosyncrasies. He shared with me his fondness for making furniture, for Jeffery West shoes and how he likes to dress in wildly eccentric and flamboyant ways to bring a little life to his place of work.
This frame is the last one of those we made in the 90 minutes we were together and is the one that best shows the life and interests of a true gentleman but also the openness and vulnerability of the human being.