‘I met Charles Albert Lucien Snelling on a Saturday in April, 1992. He lived in a typical two up two down terraced house amongst many other two up two down terraced houses… It was yellow and orange. In that respect it was totally different from every other house on the street. Charlie was a simple, gentle, man. He loved flowers and the names of flowers. He loved colour and surrounded himself with colour. He loved his wife. Without ever trying or intending to, he showed me that the most important things in life cost nothing at all. He was my antidote to modern living.’ Julian Germain
In a series of photographs made over eight years, Julian Germain captured the quiet, contemplative existence of an old man living alone in a small house in a city on the south coast of England. Unfettered by the misplaced aspirations of the modern world, Charles Albert Lucian Snelling (Charlie) spent the last years of his life absorbed in his memories of his wife, his children, his love for flowers, music and the quotidian pleasures of the crossword, and his albums of his own photographs. Germain’s photographs of Charlie, his home and the things he owned are a beautiful, gentle portrait of a gentleman in his twilight years.
For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness was first published in 2005, selling out soon after its release; Germain’s affectionate portrait of Charles is now in its third edition.
Julian Germain lives and works in Northumberland, UK; he has exhibited internationally including at The Photographers' Gallery, London and MASP, Sao Paulo.