lisa Bretherick, B. 1981, UK
After a career working in graphic design and brand marketing, Lisa Bretherick discovered her calling in documentary and portrait photography. Combining her two loves - art and people - she began training alongside professional photographers to refine her skills. Lisa's resulting body of work focusses on capturing human emotion in a variety of states. 'If I have an aim when I photograph, it is to tell stories that evoke emotion and reaction which would not otherwise be experienced. If those experiences change attitudes, emotions or actions, then the stories have been worth telling.'
Lisa has exhibited work at the Science Museum and at The Hub Kings Cross. She has also worked with high-profile charities including Cancer Research, De Paul, Diabetes UK, British Heart Foundation, Women's Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, the Big Issue and Age Concern, using her photographs as a medium to tell passionate stories of human lives involved with these causes.
For The unbreakable rope, Lisa is presenting a series of images taken surrounding the tragic circumstances in which a romantic relationship was cut short. On 30th July 2014, Dr Nazim Mahmood ended his own life, two days after his religious family confronted him about his homosexuality. It was the first time they had heard about his thirteen-year relationship with his fiancé, Matt Ogston. In Naz’s memory, Matt set up the Naz and Matt Foundation to support and empower LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex) individuals, their friends and family to help resolve challenges linked to gender and sexual identity, particularly where religion exerts a strong influence. The Naz and Matt Foundation hopes to open closed minds in families and in communities, so non-heteronormative individuals are loved for who they are and who they were born to be.
Spending time with Matt over the past year, I have seen and experienced some of his journey with him since his partner Naz passed away. I could never pretend to understand or feel the amount of pain he has been through, but over time he has given me a little window into some of his thoughts and fears, highs and lows, memories, regrets and unanswered questions. Photographing with Matt has become a medium for him to document his thoughts and memories in order to allow him the opportunity to let them go. It has become a means of sharing his journey in the hope that we can affect hearts and minds. Together we have been down memory lane - he has talked, we have sat in silence, we have walked and listened and taken in our surroundings. I have photographed when I feel the time is right and when there are feelings to capture. The images are intimate and raw. We are not trying to tell anyone anything, or shock people into seeing different things, just exposing human nature in its most raw and innocent form, in the hope that anyone, whatever religion, faith, background or age might be able to connect to Matt's story. Through connection, we are some of the way to opening minds to new ways of thinking.