For eight years, British photographer Julian Germain documented the quiet, contemplative life of Charles Snelling, an elderly man living alone in a port town on the south coast of England. In his final years, Snelling busied himself with memories of his beloved wife, his children, his love of flowers, music, the everyday pleasure of crossword puzzles, and composing photo albums of his own. What Germain created was a delicate portrait of a beautiful and noble man at the end of his days, a man who didn’t allow himself to be ensnared in contemporary times.
“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.”
(The Julian Germain quote is from his photobook For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness, published in London in 2005)