I never really knew who I was.
Then my daughter was born.
And I became a father.
And that is what I became.
All Quiet on the Home Front tells the story of how I learnt how to be a father. It shows how the initial domestic claustrophobia of taking care of my daughter, Isabel, in the confines of our flat was overcome through nature; by getting out of the house, by taking Isabel on walks in the fields and the woods surrounding our home in Bath. This is the story of how we came together in that landscape, of how these landscapes crystallised our relationship.
It’s also the story of the fears that came about because of being a father, the anxiety and doubt invaded my ideas of who I was. I lost myself when Isabel was born, before slowly regaining and redefining myself as she got older till finally, when Isabel became her own person, there was a new distance between us and a new person for me to become.
So it’s optimistic. It’s life affirming. It’s idealistic. It’s about mapping yourself in your natural surroundings and finding yourself reflected in the world around you. That’s what happened with Isabel and that’s what happened with me. I became the landscapes. It’s a portrait of my daughter, it’s a portrait of the landscapes we inhabit, and most of all it’s a self-portrait of my life as a father of a child, a life that has almost ended as that child has turned into a person with her own mind, her own identity, her own self.