Till Death Us Do Part by John Paul Evans

Issue 90

Till Death Do Us Part is a project that encompasses varied responses and challenges to the historical and cultural significance of the wedding portrait. 

The works originated as a personal reflection on the current state of social change in Britain, Europe and America around notions or definitions of marriage. The political and social debate triggered a desire to explore this genre with my then civil partner, and now married partner, Peter.

From an academic point of view I was critical of the way that photography is used to reinforce concepts of the family and normality. As a consequence, I have very few images to represent the 27 years that Peter and I have spent together. As I am now entering my 50s and Peter is in his late 70s, there was an urgency to address this in my own mind in order to leave a trace of our presence in the world.

Our performance of various permutations of the couple/marriage/wedding portrait is a way of addressing this for me in creating an alternative family/wedding album.

I am aware that Peter and I are not what would be considered as an ideal couple by mainstream media. There is a 27 year age difference and in real life we have sometimes been confused as father and son. But that is the reality of my’ lived’ experience, and on one level I see these works as a personal memoir of two people at different stages in their personal chronology, exploring ideas of space, place and time.

It was all of these differences and visual discrepancies that made me want to explore an ongoing body of images, that reflect on a couple who in some ways seem like outsiders or alien, as a metaphor for the concept of ‘otherness’.

John Paul Evans lives and works in Devon, UK.
To view more of John Paul's work, please visit his website.

The first image displayed in this series is the recipient of the 2016 Hasselblad Masters Award.