Based in London and the North of England, Thomas Duffield is a photographer and researcher. He is currently completing a Ph.D. at the University of Huddersfield. Growing up on a small farm on the outskirts of Leeds, Thomas’s practice looks inwards on his own family experience. Addressing the lesser discussed aspects of family life, his photographic work navigates a terrain of shared human frailty. Finding strength through reconciling our vulnerabilities, the work celebrates both the beauty and tenderness of family life. In his series “The whole house is shaking”, he revisits his own experience.
The people photographed in this series are members of the family he grew up with and the images were taken at the small farm he grew up in in the North of England. “Hidden from my sister and I growing up, the series addresses my father’s struggle with heroin addiction. Featuring portraits of my mother, sister, and grandfather, the series looks towards my close family members as a means to explore the emotional reverberations that stem from this difficult chapter in our family history”, he explains. To do so, he drew his inspiration from the photographic work that engages with the theme of family. Work such as Larry Sultans Pictures From Home to Richard Billingham’s Ray’s A Laugh. “Experiencing this work reassured me that the subject of family is not only a legitimate area to explore; but one that is rich and challenging. The performative nature of Alessandra Sanguinetti’s portraits also left a mark on me, as I began to move back and forth between the use of both staged and observed photographs in my approach”, he concludes.