About twenty years ago I met an Irish girl. She had grown up in the countryside on a farm and, when she told me about her childhood, it sounded like something out of Ryan’s Daughter. Quite the contrast to my own city childhood, growing up in London.
These photographs are inspired by a story she told me about her favourite memory of her father. After working in the fields, he would return to the kitchen and wash his hands and forearms before a meal. She said that he took great care in ensuring that all the mud was washed from his hands before sitting to eat.
I liked the idea of this ritualistic act, and often think about it when I am washing my own hands. Sometimes taking a little more time over a daily routine can make the ordinary extraordinary.
Part of The Learned Pig’s Clean Unclean editorial season, March-May 2015.