Words and Pictures. Pictures and Words.

My father was the photographer in our family. My love for the medium came from him.

However, my mother was a prize-winning writer. She loved words, and from time to time would murmur that she hoped I would become a writer when I “grew up.” Both of them enjoyed playing with words. On long family journeys, we would play a game of outpunning each other. The winner was the person who still had a pun in the tank when all the others had run dry and ground to a halt on the side of the road.

Dad had an enormous black Websters Dictionary (I still have it). He read it assiduously. Over dinner, he would drop some obscure word into the conversation, for example, ” penultimate” or “peripatetic” or “Brobdignagian”. It was always used in context.  Then he would smile a slow, sly smile. The wero had been cast. The challenge had been issued. The next day we would come back to the dinner table. We would wait for the perfect moment and then casually drop our response into the conversation. “ I note’” I might say, ” that the Prime Minister’s latest edict seems to evince the essential political dichotomy between intention and execution.” If my father’s eyes sparkled, I knew it had been a great comeback. My victory rarely lasted more than 24 hours.

 Somewhere down the road I  began wanting to write as much as to make photographs. And somehow I wanted to weave words around my images. Sometimes it would be a slow influx of words demanding a picture, sometimes it would be the other way around.

There is no attempt here to explain the pictures. Rather I see them as lovers, each holding the other’s hand. They are their own unique selves. And yet they form a unit.

 Perhaps the only conclusion to make is that they are stories being told.

Tony Bridge

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