Simon Carruthers – 20th February 2015

Simon Carruthers - The Shot I Never Forgot - four men chat in roadside lay-by cafe

Simon Carruthers – The Shot I Never Forgot – ‘Hot Food Next Lay-by’

Simon Carruthers – The Shot I Never Forgot

‘Hot Food Next Lay-by

Looking at this photo now it seems hard to believe that it is one of my own – there are so many elements here that are now redundant to my practice. I haven’t carried a 35mm camera for the best part of a decade. I rarely, if ever, shoot in black & white and people are almost always absent from my more recent work. But the real reason that this photo has stayed with me for so long is not nostalgia; it is because, like all the photographs that intrigue me, this photo has an air of ambiguity.

I more of less know the back story to this photo but somehow the facts don’t quite fit with the image. The Shepherd Neame ashtray and Sun newspaper, placed on the coffee table, offer some clue to the location but the space isn’t your typical café and the characters within don’t belong to the Sussex coast. The scene is theatrical but who or what is being picked out and why? Is this some kind of a club and are those posters of military vehicles significant? The photo throws up more questions than it seems willing to answer, inviting the reader to decipher the clues and draw their own conclusions.

Jim Mortram – 9th May 2014

JIm Mortram - The Shot I Never Forgot - Black and white image of girl playing with cat on window sill whilst TV plays

JIm Mortram – The Shot I Never Forgot

Jim Mortram – The Shot I Never Forgot


I’d been working on a story for Small Town Inertia dealing with young families and social housing. After a couple of visits, getting to know the family, as often happens, they were suddenly moved and contact unfortunately lost. This photograph, of the families young daughter feeding a stray cat, really stayed with me, these two young lives looking after one another, whilst both displaced, searching for a place to call home.