MIND THE GAP
Simon’s interest in Photography started at an early age. He received his first SLR Pentax MX camera (which he still has) in 1983 at the age of 14. Simon recalls, ‘I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing and I couldn’t remember taking one decent shot. As teenagers do, I soon lost interest’. On reflection, the attraction to photography was probably more to do with the technology than capturing images, as 95% of the time the camera did not contain a film.
On June 11th 2010 Simon was diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease. PD is a neurological degenerative condition that has no cure. It causes a slowness of movement, joint stiffness and in Simon’s case a tremor in all four limbs. His diagnosis changed everything for him. He describes post diagnosis as being ‘left in an unfamiliar world’. He soon realised that he better become familiar with this new world as there was no going back.
Simon has made the best of his life since diagnosis and this new world has led to cycle rides, paddling in canoes, wild camping with some great friends. However, as the condition has progressed some activities have become very difficult. With a little encouragement from some close friends, Simon rediscovered photography. This is where the notion of ‘Mind the Gap’ was conceived.
Whether it’s photography, sketching, joining a choir, helping someone less fortunate or water aerobics, it doesn’t matter, just as long as you ‘Mind the Gap’ and do something when your usual activity becomes too challenging.
Simon is convinced that photography has helped to maintain an active body and mind and is contributing to his high quality of life. He hopes that through his images he can encourage others to increase their quality of life by becoming more active.
Simon’s images can be seen in Maison Royale in the Cornmill Centre Darlington