UK-based photographer Lauren Fleishman was inspired to create her The Lovers series after finding a collection of letters her grandfather had written to her grandmother during World War II. Tucked inside a book next to his bed, the letters revealed the history of her grandparent’s relationship, chronicling the young love that brought them together. “They connected me to my grandfather and his 59-year marriage in a way that I had no been able to connect to him in life,” the artist writes on her website. Since then, Fleishman has recorded the love stories of long-married couples across the world, photographing them during intimate moments together. From Fleishman’s publisher:
Like her other work, this project addresses both artistic and documentary angles: sociology and the human geography of emotions, as well as the aesthetics of the body. In this work, colour photographs are combined with interviews where the subjects, elderly couples intimately involved for over five decades, describe their love and relationship. Couples from different backgrounds provide a look at the realities of love: how the previous generation experienced it, survived it, and, more importantly, how it appears in their lives. The body politics of the project become especially clear when gay and lesbian couples or couples with ill spouses are considered. In this respect, Fleishman’s pictures play a central role in addressing homophobia and increasing awareness of age-related issues.
You can purchase The Lovers over here, and see a preview of Fleishman’s heartfelt photos in our gallery.
You really don’t think about getting older. First of all, you’re aging together, and when you see a person constantly, you don’t notice big changes. Like you don’t notice, oh you’re getting a little wrinkle here and tomorrow you say it’s a little deeper. No, those are things that just happen. You don’t pay attention to those things. I mean, I’m not thinking every day, “Oh my husband’s 83 years old, he’s gonna be 84, oh my goodness, I’m married to an old man!” And I hope he feels that way too.