In Sickness and in Health

As part of the feedback on assignment 1 – Square Mile it was suggested that I look at some of the work by Colin Gray, particularly his In Sickness and in Health project. After searching online for the work I found a book on Amazon [Reference 1] which I ordered.

The book has a plain hessian style cover with the authors name about the books title (all in capital letters). Very simple, very much in keeping with the contents of the book and it’s subject matter.

The photographs on the pages inside the book are all square format, which is related to the Hasselblad camera that Gray borrowed whenever he went back to Hull from time to time after moving to London when he was young.

The photos within the book are part of a series called Parents that Gray has produced over the years by photographing his Mum and Dad. In Sickness and in Health is a series of photographs taking while his Mum was dying.

None of the photographs in the book have captions. Each page has a single photograph which the reader is left to ponder. Some of the images are self-explanatory at a surface level while others leave you wondering why the photographs were taken, and what they are trying to get across to the reader.

Some images are almost candid snapshots, while others have been taken or edited in such a way that faces are blurred or interesting textures overlay the subject.

The book is very sombre but shows the love that existed between Gray’s parents, the tiredness that comes from looking after someone with a long term illness as well as the loneliness that comes from losing someone who you are so close to.


  1. Gray, Colin. In Sickness and In Health. Published by Steidl Mack 2010. ISBN 978-3-86521-940-4.

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