Bernard 1948-2009.

Bernard was a close friend who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.  Bernard commissioned me to make an art work before he died. I decided to produce a photo documentary book of his life. I collected his personal photographs from throughout his life. I travelled to Hokitika where he grew up and photographed his home and locations in the area that were significant to him. I also documented his life as he  dealt with the disease. As well as taking photographs I was part of the care team that looked after Bernard in the final months of his life.

Bernard standing in front of the tree he planted when he first moved into his home.

Due to his decreasing mobility and a very steep driveway Bernard decided to sell his home and move into an apartment in the city.

Friends and family that helped Bernard move out of his house.

Bernard’s final moments in his home.

I travelled to Hokitika to photograph Bernard’s hometown. I flew to Christchurch, then drove to Hokitika over the Arthur’s Pass.

On arriving I took photographs of the town.

The next day I visited the home that Bernard grew up in. The current owner was generous enough to let me photograph inside.

The looming presence of the Catholic church  across the road tormented Bernard’s father.

Bernard said the Seaview Psychiatric Hospital overlooked the town and always frightened him as a boy.

Lake Kaniere where Bernard  holidayed with the family.

Bernard’s father was the minister of St Andrews United Church.

I then made my way back home.

Bernard at the apartment in his special chair.

Portrait of Bernard when he was still able to stand.

Bernard confined to his bed, with an intercom system we rigged up so he could call on us. This was only a few days before he died.

Bernard on the day he died.

Bernard in his coffin.

Self-portrait with Bernard lying in my home before the funeral.