Just Couldn't Get The Shoes to Fit Exhibition by Thomas Duffield

Village are excited to announce Thomas Duffield will be returning to our gallery space to exhibit his new project 'Just Couldn't Get The Shoes to Fit'. This self-portrait series in collaboration with his Grandfather Fred documents a turning point within their relationship.

"Early this year, my grandad came down the stairs with a lively step. Looped around his finger a heavy wooden coat hanger swings, hanging from it, one of his old coats. We both try it on, testing the fit. I button his jacket up as he lifts his chin and shuffles his neck into the collar. In a playful process we begin to dress up in his old clothes. we record this performative exchange through self portraiture.
As he has grown older, so have I, And now our responsibility of care towards each other continues to shift and evolve. My grandad was a prominent father figure in the early life of my sister and I. We still look up to him as a strong guardian, however, for the first time he has showed use a vulnerable side. Now, he asks me to button up his shirt for him & open jars of pickled beetroot. It is through these changes I begin to recognise my own insecurities as I grow into adult life, take on new responsibility, and question my place as a young man in this world.
Positioning ourselves in front of the camera, situates us as subjects in a position of vulnerability. Subject to an unreturnable gaze, my grandfather and I become the observed. Although interestingly, the process of making the photographs ourselves incites a paradox where we have taken co-ownership of our representation, reconciled with our vulnerability, and presented it to an audience of viewers on our own terms." - Thomas Duffield.