WAVE is a grass roots, cross community, voluntary organisation formed in 1991 to support people bereaved of a spouse as a result of violence in Northern Ireland. It was expanded later to incorporate the needs of children and young people and anyone injured or traumatised through ‘the Troubles’. Wave Trauma Centre.
This project came about back at the start of 2018. The overall objective was to create a tool to aid lobbying towards a victims pension. The people in this project receive no government support and rely on charities such as Wave to help them through their recovery.
My aim was to visit 10 participants in their homes and create a set of images showing their surroundings and the prosthetics they use in their daily lives. The injured in this project represent not just themselves, but many others who don’t have a voice.
With the exception of Mark Kelly (below) I had never met the rest of the participants. I was a little nervous at the start of this project. Not only did I have to photograph people I had never met, but having to do so in their own homes increased my nerves. Anxiety was quickly calmed as each time I met a new participant I was warmly welcomed in to their homes.
Some of the people I photographed talked in great detail about what happened to them, others did not. When I arrived to shoot each of the participants I just let the conversation flow naturally. Some times I would talk about whats happening in my work and from that other topics would come up.
Its really tricky to go straight in to taking someones photo when you’ve never met. To help ease nerves I tried to take my time during the set up phase and explain what the equipment did. For most of the photos below I used a large Octobox as my main light and a couple of smaller speedlights on stands.
The first set of photos were always test images as I had to check what the lights were doing in relation to the subject. Once I finished the test phase of the set up we got straight in to taking the images. I grabbed a couple of images then usually asked them to turn around or slightly changed their poses. I always tried to get at least three or four different set ups in different locations. I wanted to give Wave plenty of options when it come to picking the final images that would be used in the exhibition launch.
Yesterday seen the launch of The Injured project in the King Edward Hall of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast. Many who took part in The Injured project ended up spending a lot of time recovering in this hospital so it was very poignant to have the launch there.
The photos were printed on to 6ft by 6ft roller banners to aid transport and cut out installation costs.
Contact me if you’ve any questions about this project.