Colin Gray brings 50-year story of his parents up-to-date at Ferens Art Gallery in Hull

By Culture24 Reporter | 23 November 2011
A photo of a man blurred behind a bunch of lilac and green flowers
Exhibition: In Sickness and In Health, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, until February 26 2012

During the 1960s, at the age of five, Colin Gray began taking photographs of his parents.

As he grew up, he went on to form an autobiographical account of their lives through his lenses, following their relationship and their lives at work and play.

First showcased two decades later with his The Parents series, his latest updates find them in older age, taking in his mother Rene's death in 2004 – her husband, Ron, was her carer following her stroke – in a show touring from Glasgow's Street Level Photoworks.

"This work has been cathartic, preparing me to face the loss and deterioration I have endured," the artist reflects poignantly.

"I have reached the age my parents were when I started the project. Looking at myself in the mirror I see a reflection of my father's face. I see the history in my own future."

Gray faces mortality head-on, trusting his audience to take the journey with him. Local youngsters are being encouraged to engage with the works, which are enhanced by three pieces Gray contributed to the Ferens' permanent collection during the 1990s.

  • Open 10am-5pm (1.30pm-4.30pm Sunday). Admission free.
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