The Dad Directives, 2008

-Framed inkjet prints and text

Image: 'Dad Directives #5 (Hi Dad, Take a photography of something you don't understand)'

One of a series of projects devised and completed whilst on a six week residency at Platform in Vaasa on the west coast of Finland.

For 'The Dad Directives' - my only collaboration with my father, a keen amateur photographer - I would email him each weekend from my residency flat in Vaasa, Finland, with a different instruction to take a photograph, each one selected from a long-list of potential instructions I would write throughout the week. He was free to interpret them however he wanted, but choose only one final image, then print it using his new A3 printer. He would then send them out to me when the set of six was complete. Once the prints arrived they were inserted to the six numbered A3 box frames I had prepared.

The project was run under strict conditions so my father and I never discussed it until after all the prints had arrived by post, just a few days prior to the exhibition opening.

1. 'Hi Dad, Go outside after dark and photograph any house with a window you can see someone through.'

2. Hi Dad, take a photograph of a photograph you wish you had taken.'

3. ‘Hi Dad, Build something from scrap wood in the garage, paint it with left-over paint, give it eyes. Then photograph it.'

4. ‘Hi Dad, Collect together as many things you can find that you've been given as presents. Pile them up and photograph with a strong flash.'

5. ‘Hi Dad, Take a photograph of something you don't understand.'

6. ‘Hi Dad, What is the heaviest thing you can lift in the house? Take it out into the garden and photograph it.

Above: The Dad Directives installed in Plymouth Arts Centre, UK, for the solo exhibition Recreate A Nervy Pistol (An Early Retrospective), 2011

You can listen to a recording of a public event where my father and I discuss the project HERE