Butcher's Ledger

This butcher's log book hides a found photograph of a woman and child in a field with pigs. It belonged to O'Hara and Sons in Eastbourne and lists sales of lamb, turkey, bones, pork and veal. I found the ledger and the photograph in the same flea market in Brighton on different stalls. They were unconnected but it was a natural decision to combine the two.

I collect old photographs of strangers. It is not just the images that interest me but the physical object. The size, the bent edges, the yellow cellotape marks where they've been torn out of an album. The names and dates written on the back. There are also prices written in pencil, someone's beloved face reduced over time to 25p. 

Rummaging through shoe boxes of photographs in junk shops and flea markets is the analogue version of scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. The majority are smiling family photos on the beach or at a wedding. My favourite kind are the ones taken when the sitter is not ready, or when the camera is accidentally pointing at the sky. Today they would be deleted, but instead they exist, probably outliving the person in the photograph.

These snippets raise questions for which there can be no answers now. If a picture speaks a thousand words, do we really know what they are?