Stuart Griffiths is a photographer with an unflinching gaze. We mentioned him back in 2010 after he documented the lives of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, capturing their brave struggles to face afflictions both visible and hidden in their civilian environments. What really struck us about this project was the places Stuart focused our gaze; places we’d normally avert our eyes from, or areas we wouldn’t think to look in the first place. On the whole, Stuart’s technique portrayed a strong message highlighting the phycological and physical trauma that was being suffered by those you might meet in a pub or pass in the street.
Stuart’s ability to frame situations, messages and environments is carried through into other projects such as Fishermen and Gangs & Guns. In each, he transports us immediately into the harsh realities and environments we’ve heard exist, but couldn’t understand or picture in our minds with any authenticity. The subjects of his photos are always very much part of life; a life trundling onwards regardless of anything, mostly oblivious to these pockets of existence until attention is focused on what makes up the bigger picture of who we are as a society. Stuart Griffiths is a master at exactly this. His projects cannot fail to speak to the viewer, nor do they fail in adding a depth to the subjects he tackles.