IT IS a 60-year tale of love that ended in tragedy.
But ultimately Paddy Summerfield’s exhibition, Mother and Father, shows a bond that even Alzheimer’s disease could not break.
The Summertown photographer’s pictures, the product of 10 years’ work, depict his mother, Joan, as his father Ken cared for her in her final years.
She died in 2000 at 85, and his father died aged 95 in 2007.
The pictures will be on show next month in their Banbury Road home, where many of them were taken, for Photography Oxford.
The event is the city’s first international photography festival and The Oxford Times, the Oxford Mail’s sister paper, is the official media partner.
Photographer Mr Summerfield, 67, said: “I wanted to show my parents’ love for one another and my father’s compassion for my mother.
“It was a 60-year marriage and even Alzheimer’s could not break their bond. My father was determined to keep her with him at home, so my photographic essay is trying to show their closeness.
“I would often keep my distance and respect their relationship, forever at the window, photographing them in the garden.
“There was a sense of trying to capture something and hold on to it, even though it was slipping away. I was always worried it would be the last time I’d ever see them as they were.”
The exhibition will display a slideshow of pictures of Mr Summerfield’s parents, as they share moments in the garden.
Mr Summerfield, a grandfather-of-three, said that the project was unusual, because many of his past essays had been about his own emotions.
He said: “Photography is therapy in a way, because it helps me deal with my inner world.
“Another of my collections is called Empty Days, which is quite dark.
“But the pictures of my parents are more mature – and different for me, because they are about the people in frame and not my own feelings.
“At the moment I am going through a lifetime of photography – I started aged 20 – and I have all these negatives stored up.
“I am trying to find ways of presenting them.”
Mother and Father will be on show from September 15 to October 5, 6.30pm to 8.30pm, at 337 Banbury Road, as part of Photography Oxford.
- Don’t forget to enter our photography competition, which could see your pictures displayed alongside world-renowned artists. Visit photographyoxford.co.uk for details
Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.
Our top stories
9:00am Friday 30th January 2015
THE family of man who escaped a mental hospital, fled abroad then hanged himself in a prison cell have said he was let down by Oxford Health.
12:06pm Thursday 29th January 2015
SNOW has been forecast for Oxfordshire over the weekend and a yellow weather warning is still in place for today.
7:33pm Friday 30th January 2015
A HEADTEACHER at an Oxford primary school has claimed she is getting “fobbed off” by Oxfordshire County Council over questions about delayed construction work at the school.
4:14pm Friday 30th January 2015
A WOMAN charged with the attempted murder of a hospital patient today appeared in Oxford Crown Court.
3:50pm Friday 30th January 2015
A MAN has been accused of fraudulently pocketing £4.8m from the assembly and services division at the Mini plant in Cowley.
Oxfordshire County Council chief executive Joanna Simons to stand down in June - and will not be replaced
1:10pm Friday 30th January 2015
OXFORDSHIRE'S biggest local authority will scrap its top unelected position as part of a radical shake-up to save costs, it was revealed today.