It was a Wednesday at the beginning of March when it happened. The day was a cloudless one and the sky was an unreal, harsh blue.
There was a light dusting of snow on the ground which reflected the sun brilliantly. I remember blinking. And then I remember us terminating our baby.
Much of my childhood is populated with memories of my mother pregnant. I was her first and only successful pregnancy. Over a nine year period my parents endured multiple miscarriages and still births. At the time they shielded me from the details. When I was ten I held my brother, Thomas, for a few minutes. He was premature but should have survived. The following evening a nurse accidentally switched off his incubator. My mother never had the chance to hold him; she was recovering from an emergency caesarian.
Trauma is like mould. You can’t simply wipe it away.
Walking out of the 3 month scan of our second child felt like history repeating itself. Our baby had a chromosomal difference and we had to decide whether to continue with the pregnancy or to have a TFMR – termination for medical reasons. It was hard but we knew it was the right decision for us. A week later the doctor told us not to refer to the foetus as a baby.
A few months after this I started to make some images. It was photography as therapy; paying tribute to the life that ended and marking the moment while processing what happened. As the project developed I found ways to connect our experience with those from my childhood. As with life, death has consequences.
About Samuel Peach
Samuel Peach is a photographic artist based in London. Since 2012 he has used life events and memory as inspiration. His work interrogates notions of what the human body is, how it is presented and understood, and its relationship to health, science and time. At the core of these research interests is a belief in the need to better understand the difficult subjects of trauma and grief. His projects have been exhibited within a gallery context on numerous occasions. In 2016 Efflorescence was awarded the Patron’s Prize at Format Photography Festival and later that year shown alongside Brian Griffin’s work in an exhibition in London organised by The Royal Photographic Society. Between 2017 and 2020 Corpus Distortions has been part of two group shows and a solo show at FeldHaus Gallery in Frankfurt.