Artist statement: Each year, during the Christmas holidays, I make a portrait of my children. This year, my son Charlie suddenly decided to lop off his very long and wild surfer hair. The stark contrast of his now shaved head revealed the face of a young and serious man, intent on facing the world and the challenges of life ahead. It felt a little shocking to realise that my son was no longer a boy. I was filled with contradictory emotions of grief, loss and ageing but also of pride, curiosity and immense love. We rarely talk deeply about this transition or the cascade of parental emotions when our kids leave home. ‘Empty nest’ syndrome tries, but is so over used it has been emptied of meaning, and doesn’t muster the intensity of feelings. Perhaps this small collection of portraits made over many years, is my way of letting go.