Tommy Sussex is a documentary photographer living and working in Bristol.
The images he makes attempt to render an individual social reality that carries a political weight. His process often attempts to navigate that which falls outside of expected photographic reportage, to encompass symbolic gestures and abstracted scenarios.
I knew from my previous work in Knowle West that dogs are an important part of life in the neighbourhood. I wanted to get to know their place and role in the community better, and in the process question some of the associated stereotypes.
To help meet some dogs and their owners, a call was put out to local residents on social media. The response was over-whelming. Subsequently a “Pooch Shoot” was hosted at KWMC in summer 2016, and dozens of dogs and their owners came for a free portrait session. Under the studio lights I began a dialogue with the very diverse mix of dog-owners. Xxxx & xxxxx were two of the stars of the show.
The resulting images are more whimsical than first intended and I appreciate how the manifestation of the work has been shaped by the residents of Knowle West and the warmth of their response.
After some consideration I decided to print of the portraits onto textile thus creating the ultimate dog blanket.