My brother Simon died in 2005 with The Identity Parade substantially complete but still unfinished. His early drafts and the finished pages came to light in the process of clearing his flat. Simon had them in a mix of box files and A4 folders in no particular order. Others were stored haphazardly, leaved between sheets of newspaper on shelves in the airing cupboard, between record sleeves, or among piles of books on the floor. Gathered up, they remained in storage boxes for many months until I felt able to begin the task of piecing it all together using Simon’s diaries and explanatory notes as a guide.
Simon had a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve. He spent many hours over many years creating these pages. The act of creation was of itself therapeutic, central to his own process of reconciliation with mental illness.
The task of sorting Simon’s pages after he died has also been slow and time-consuming – like doing a giant jig-saw puzzle, but it has provided a way for me to become reconciled to my brother’s death and honour his memory. The result is a sequence that I believe is true to Simon’s original intentions.
Presented on this web site are some 320 hand-crafted A4-size pages of collage which tell the story of the fictional character, Simon Paternoster, who might be regarded as Simon Miles’s alter-ego.
I hope the end product will be informative for those wanting greater understanding and insight into bipolar mood disorder as well as being of interest to the more casual viewer. Those in need of more information on bipolar should visit the web site of Bipolar UK.
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