Today I learned my friend, Stuart, had passed away. After years of dreaming of escaping Market Town, he’d finally sold his house, bought another on the coast and was weeks away from moving in when he suffered a fatal heart attack.
I’d known Stuart for over 15 years, time once was when we were barfly pals, attempting to dull our respective pains with cheap red wine whilst discussing the world, damning it’s evils and championing it’s beauties.
Forever on the fringe of Market Town, having returned here to care for his elderly Mother, until she passed away, Stuart stayed alone in the house that witnessed his Mother’s final breaths and some weeks ago also bore witness to his.
Stuart was one of the first people I ever documented, the encouragement he gave me, at a monumental junction within my own life, I’ll never forget, he gave me a chance, as a human being and as a fledgeling photographer and as a friend.
I remember, so vividly, when we had his portrait featured upon the Pictorymag blog, I rushed over to tell him, gave him a print of the featured photograph and he was thrilled, amazed anyone would care for a word he had said.
(*From Pictorymag feature)
Baptised in Darwin’s Bathwater.
"Stuart lives in his late parents house on the outskirts of town. Alone and somewhat isolated from the world around him, Stuart has taught me one lesson above all : to love the small, precious moments with those close to you. It’s the one element of life that can never be regretted. For him, the warmth of remembering sustains the coldness of present days."
"Stuart has watched as so many loved ones have returned to the earth, and yet maintains an air of gentle understanding about the rhythm and pattern and tempo of mortality. “I was baptised in Darwin’s bathwater” he told me as we discussed the afterlife and his resolve about the natural cycle of life’s twists and turns. “Love is the eternal where we are not so in the physical.”
“Love is the eternal where we are not so in the physical.” …these words are how I’ll forever remember Stuart. Market Town has lost one of it’s princes and is dulled with his absence.
I’m sharing some audio from our final recorded conversation, I want you to hear his voice, his laugh, his musings, memories.
Stuart, you’ve made the great leap, you know the answers, whatever they be, I miss you my friend, deeply. X