“There was so much I ought to have recorded,
So many lives that have vanished –
Families, neighbours; people whose pockets
Were worn thin by hope. They were
The loose change history spent without caring.
Now they have become the air I breathe,
Not to have marked their passing seems such a betrayal.” – Brian Patten – “The Betrayal”
I’m drawn to the edges of things, people and places that might commonly be overlooked. This has a lot to do with who I am, my own experience and background and my desire to photograph people from a similar background and experience and to represent that in a complicated and dark but also a tender way. I want to treat the suburbs around me as something compelling and rich.
“The sun shone, having no alternative, on nothing new.” – Samuel Beckett
The alleys and backways of neglected suburbs, become the site of an “exiled” range of characters, seemingly adrift as their “loss of innocence” becomes visceral in an interior struggle between instinct and reason.
The final lines of the poem “Afternoons”, “Something is pushing them/To the side of their own lives.” – by Philip Larkin – is a central tenet and provides a starting point to introduce themes of time, memory and loss. It’s that feeling that you are only going to relive in echo.
The work that I have made over the past years relies on people and places that exist in the world, which are then transformed by my imaginative vision of them. This style of documentary photography acknowledges the fragmentary complexities of life, allowing ambiguity and contradiction to open up the work, like so many departures, journeys and roads that go on forever.
Adrian Saker was born in Marston Green, a suburb of Birmingham (next to the airport). He was raised by his Mom, of whom he says, “did an incredible job under difficult circumstances.” At university he studied Art History and Philosophy. Following this, the next ten years were spent “doing stupid shit”, of which he says, ” there are no excuses or justifications, quite simply I should have known better!”
It was meeting his partner Viv, a musician, that inspired and helped him change his direction and with her encouragement, after she’d seen “a dusty old portfolio from college days”, he began making photographic work again.
He is interested in long-form documentary projects that often take years to complete. His practice, he describes as “letting the ideas and themes emerge from the work itself.”
Other notable interests that occupy him include, cats, The Clash and Christmas.