John Paul Evans at the Fox Talbot Museum

From the series 'Till Death do us Part'

What is lost...what has been" is a series of absurd permutations of the wedding portrait. These performative responses to ideas of marriage and domesticity evoke a sense of the uncanny— Freud's idea of the 'homely and un-homely.'

‘What is lost…What has been’ is a photographic exhibition from 2016 Hasselblad Masters Award winner John Paul Evans. This tragi-comic series of work comes to the Fox Talbot Museum gallery as it reopens following a month of refurbishment work in late March. John Paul Evans is a Welsh born photographic artist and academic who now lives in Devon.

His metaphoric photo series examine various points of view regarding gay marriage — with the pictures of ‘otherness’ fluctuating between the poignant, the comic, and a potentially disturbing presence in the domestic space.

This playfully melancholic exhibition featuring various bodies of work will be on show from 23 March until 14 July.

The gallery at the Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock
The gallery at the Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock
The gallery at the Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock

Within each of these four series of photographs by John Paul Evans unfolds a unique tale.

They imagine John Paul and his husband Peter in situations ranging from perfect domestic bliss to reinterpretation of words meant to wound and reminding us of more innocent meanings, creating a world of magic.

From the series 'Till Death do us Part'
From the series 'Till Death do us Part'
From the series 'Till Death do us Part'

As an artist, John Paul has imagined his and Peter’s life together as a self-contained fairy tale where they live happily ever after. They take the tropes of traditional society and stand them on their heads, insisting that all have the right to happiness without judgement or slander by others. Through this work they begin a dialogue about self-respect, pride, acceptance and equality. These images may strike some as strange – in the history of photography they are portraying things seldom seen – but that’s OK. It means that all-important dialogue has begun.

From the series 'Kings, queens and fairy tales'
From the series 'Kings, queens and fairy tales'
From the series 'Kings, queens and fairy tales'

Contemporary attitudes around gender, sexual orientation and the nature of human relationships are still a mixed bag of opinions on what is considered ‘proper’ or ‘natural’. As a species, until we can embrace life in all its permutations, accepting all as part of life’s rich tapestry, and leave prejudice and condemnation in the dustbin of history, well, we still have some work to do. 

The exhibition will be on show from 23 March until 14 July.