Rankin honours parents with pictures of life before death


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The Independent Culture

Rankin, the celebrated photographer, is on a mission to bring death to life in an exhibition inspired by the trauma he suffered after his parents died within weeks of each other.

The 46-year-old’s attempt to capture the reality of death has produced more than 80 portraits. ALIVE: In the Face of Death, which opens at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool tomorrow, features photographs of people who know they are living on borrowed time, as well as others who have survived against the odds. It includes images of Sergeant Johnson Beharry, who won the Victoria Cross in Iraq, Dr Simon Pennell, a palliative care doctor at a hospice, and Hannah Jones, a student from Liverpool with a brain tumour.

Rankin said that the motivation for the new exhibition was “to try to look my fears in the eye. I’m scared of dying, but I’m getting to a point where I can start talking about it.”