Relation-gale

Being human is as complex as anything on earth. The need to communicate in personal relationships or by casual encounter is a basic need.

In this series, Lieberman explores what it is, and how it is, to be human. The Relationships series is an ongoing project about the multitudinous variety of emotional partnerships.

There is a story to each couple photographed, and each story is fascinating.

By initially separating the partners, and giving them no personal choice other than fabric, and colour, they reunite for the shoot, and see each other unexpectedly in that moment, and in doing this their balance alters for the shoot, and other aspects of their relationship shines through. Simon McKay asked if I might be interested in photographing him with his friend who happened to be Fenella Fielding.

I had heard of Fenella Fielding as being one of the great stars of British Film, and Theatre from the fifties, sixties and seventies. (She continued to perform until she died in 2018) I was thrilled to be asked.

Normally I am strict about separating the couples, but Fenella, and Simon had such a close understanding, and freedom together that I withdrew as I observed how instinctively they worked together. They were soon discussing the combinations of fabric they preferred.

Once we started the shoot it was immediately evident that Fenella had complete trust in Simon, and that Simon so instinctively responded to Fenella’s needs or wishes, seemingly before anything was communicated. I thought every shot I took was wonderful, but I chose this image as I felt it particularly conveyed Fenella’s complete faith: Fenella throws her head back in abandon, expressing her happiness in the safety of her relationship with Simon.