Jason Wilde has made a name for himself photographing everyday life in the London Borough of Camden, where five generations of his family have lived, loved and worked.
You may remember him best for his project Free Portrait Studio, where he sets up shop in various, familiar locations such as The Grafton pub or Kentish Town Health Centre, then takes candid come-as-you-are portraits of anyone who’d like to participate. In fact, we featured a selection of these lovely images on the cover of the very first print edition of Kentishtowner.
Now, as part of his ongoing photographic celebration of the neighbourhood, he’s decided to run a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of a rather special coffee table book.
Vera & John is a project for which he collected 91 hand-written notes from Vera to her husband between 2005 and 2014. The couple have lived in Somers Town since they were married in 1960.
In the last year, Jason has also photographed over 4000 Camden pavements, to form the background for each eventual image.
“By layering the photographs of notes over the photographs of paving stones, I have created a collection of still-life montages that offer a unique social record of intimate family life within London’s contemporary working class culture,” he says of the endeavour.
“These tender and sometimes abrupt messages outline Vera’s diverse roles as a woman, wife, mother, grandmother, friend, mentor and hub of a complex and close-knit family. They also underscore John’s equally important and supportive roles, happy to let Vera take the lead and fill-in when needed.”
As well as being the subject of this rare and intimate look at day-to-day life in the heart of the borough, Vera and John are also Jason’s parents.
“The idea of making a project about my mum and dad came to me while visiting their home in 2005,” he tells us. “With no one home I had a rummage through the fridge and food cupboards before making a nice cup of tea. Leaning against the wall next to the kettle was a note. I had been collecting notes since 2003 for a different project (called ‘Silly Arse Broke It’) and realised that this single note outlining that evening’s dinner arrangements was a potential project.”
Half way through the Kickstarter campaign already and Jason has nearly half the funding required to turn the project into a glossy, perfect-bound book. He’d love your support, of course, to help hit the required target, for which you will receive all manner of Vera & John related gifts, including a copy of the book upon its eventual publication in Feb 2017.
Take a look at the Kickstarter campaign page now for more info, including a video made by Jason explaining more about this project and what he hopes to do when it is funded.