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.