Above: Image from Standing By

Standing By, which uses sound & still images, draws us into Friend’s parents’ 60-year long relationship. It focuses on their daily solving of the Daily Telegraph ‘Quick’ crossword, undertaken to combat memory loss. For years, Friend thought that her parents’ crossword interactions were funny: how her father barked out the clues in mock-Sergeant Major style and her mother quietly came up with the answers. As they grew older and frailer, and her mother’s Alzheimer’s became apparent, the daily routine of the crossword, initiated by her father, felt increasingly crucial both as a memory exercise and a ritual where humour, conversation and banter could happen as before.

The first recordings for Standing By were made in the year 2000; the work was completed in 2017.

First shown at: Relatives Film Festival, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, 8 March 2017.

Standing By was also shown as work in progress at the following conferences:

The Journal of Media Practice conference (2009).
Family Ties Network symposium (2014).

More to follow shortly…