I bought these people: this Victorian photograph album full of carte de visite photographs at a local Saturday morning antiques and collectables auction during 1996. I do not know anything about the subjects except for the obvious connection that they were from one family related by blood and by marriage and if not rich then they were perhaps of some wealth. Who were they? What did they do? Where did they live? Did they live happy lives? Are any of them still alive? Have our paths crossed before - when will they cross again?

Who I wondered was the last owner of this family? And why was one of the pages empty - the photograph missing! Who was this black-sheep, this stranger, whose image, presence and very memory had to be erased from this collection? What possible sin had they committed against the tolerance of the crowd?


To this conundrum the artist adds another. Every space has to be filled, without question, for the sake of order and neatness. If the boat is unbalanced it will rock and someone is pushed overboard to drown.


To create my appearance of correctness and completeness - I have introduced an alien presence introduced another picture into this album to fill in the empty space. There is one person, one picture, one presence, one image that does not belong at all. Belongs in fact to a completely different family album.


Can you decide which one will be the alien. Is it easy for you to decide from these pictures of "all my friends now ghosts..." Or have I papered over the cracks too well?

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