12 years on from the Scampi Factory
Mark Parham

12 years on from the Scampi Factory is a single portrait inspired by photographer Kraig Wilson portrait of his sister, Joanne. Both portraits are now a part of the Durham University Western Art Collection. 

Kraig Wilson’s original photographic portrait of his sister Jo in 2009, had a profound effect on Mark and he was lucky enough to have a conversation with Kraig about his original piece. This conversation was 12 years in the making,  eventually asking Kraig for his blessing to re-visit the photograph exploring where Jo is today through the portrait ’12 years on from the Scampi Factory’.

Listen to the conversation here 

Mark had never met Jo before however like many people had been captivated by Kraig’s original photo. The back story to Kraig’s original piece was filled in by Jo when he visited her. Back then Jo had just finished work at the scampi factory and was knackered, the side narrative to this was that she had also moved back to her parent’s house and was going through a painful divorce.

When Mark met Jo he felt an overwhelming sense of privilege, he admired her openness and was grateful to her for letting him photograph her again.  Jo is now 39 and living in Scarborough with her long term partner Shaun. After years of bar work, Jo is now a Health Care Assistant at a nursing home.

To say Jo is a story of survival would in Marks opinion not only be patronising it would somewhat miss the point. Like everyone else, Jo is getting on with life and moving forward in her way. These are essentially 2 portraits at two different stages – good, bad or indifferent she is dictating her own path.

In between telling him her plans for how she is going to celebrate her 40th birthday, Jo confided she believes she has finally found her vocation. Gathering her life experiences together has been a catalyst for Jo as she plans to study and explore mental health and dementia alongside her care work.