So i've decided that this year, as it marks my fathers 5th anniversary, I'm going to put together a huge project for him. Well, there will be 2 projects that I want to work on and I plan to have completed at the same time, but I think its going to be a good way to mark his anniversary, and how far I've come now. If I can finish it all off, and have everything in the past, then I'm more likely to be able to move on and start afresh.
The first project, is more a finish than a new project within itself. I've decided that the time has come to finish my anorexia project, to take the last of the pictures, collect the memories together, do the write up and finally publish it as a finished piece. By the time its done I plan to have collected pictures from the past few years (skipping the past 9 months of pregnancy) and show up to how I am now, a healthy and mature 21 year old, eating well, looking after myself and my beautiful daughter as well as I can. I also plan to write down my memories of the time, recover the documents from my eating issues and compile them into a journal or an essay of the whole experience. I also plan to include my memories looking back, as obviously some pieces of that time I have no records from, and record what it was, how it took me so long to get to where I am now and how the recovery process took place. Lastly, I plan to collect references from other people, from men who went through it and from outsiders who looked in and saw what I went through, what others went through. I think it would give a better over all feel to the project if I could look at it from all angles, and I think getting experiences from people on the outside, the ones who watched but were powerless to help would add the whole new depth to my goals, give it that perfect finish. Anorexia is a mental disorder that effects not only the sufferer but also the people around them, and I think if I am to deal with this project to the best of my abilities I need to address all sides of it.
The second project I plan to start, continue and complete before the night of the 2nd of September is specifically for my dad, and in his memory. September 3rd will mark 5 years since he left us forever, and I think it would be a nice thing to honour that memory, to remember what he was good at, who he was, and where he got his identity from. I am honoured every day to be related to him, to have been his daughter and to have been part of his life for the sixteen years he was here, and I want above all else to share that with the world, share for everyone what a good man my father was. My father was known across the UK, and in many other places across the world, and it's those stories, those memories of what he did which I plan to use to make up the bulk of my project. I am planning to collect as many memories as I can from talking to his old friends, from contacting anyone who knew him over the years, and writing down the stories they tell me. I also plan to collect as many photographs I can, either from my own personal collection or from others who I talk to who may have some pictures of him which I can add to the collection. My own collection of photographs spans a large period of his life, from early childhood up to just before he died, but I know there must be others out there, and there are many years I don't have anything for. Once this project is completed I hope it to be a full overview of his life, but more than that I hope that it will be personal. I don't want what will essentially be an account of his life to be harsh, impersonal and un thought out, I want it to be personal, loved and to show that, just like he was while he was alive, there is nothing but love in there.
I am still not certain how I'm going to address putting either project together as a whole, but I think a part of me would like to do a hard copy as well as an online copy. I like the idea of having each image, or collection of images, set together with a memory written down, or a thought. I think online I will put it up all separately, with links to the writing connected to the memory, but on paper I plan to make second copies of all my photos, print out any I can gain from others, and link them all together. I have an image in my head of how I want it to come out, its just getting there, putting it together right and making it look perfect. Because I want this to be perfect, a true memory and dedication rather than just a few random jumbled thoughts.
I may or may not post updates from this work online as I complete it, but the finished projects I have all intentions of posting on the night of the 2nd of September, or the early morning of the 3rd, to mark my father and who he was, and to show the world just how lucky I am, how strong I am, and how I do it all in his memory.
In conclusion, if there's anyone on deviantart who would like to contribute to either project, either to the anorexia journals (talking about your own experiences with the illness, through suffering or watching someone else suffer) or on the off chance there's someone out there who knew my dad, please don't hesitate to get in contact so we can discuss and arrange something.
Dad, these are for you
Kevin Robert Gibbons, "Smelly Kev" 4 June 1955 to 3 September 2007.