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As well as looking at the training environment Kandhola focuses on three established figures in boxing: Julius Francis, a four-times British Heavyweight and Commonwealth champion, who Kandhola first photographed in 2000 just before his fight with Mike Tyson; Robert McCracken, who won the British Light Middleweight title in 1994 and the Commonwealth title in 1995 - currently McCracken is Performance Director for the British Olympic team, and personal coach to Carl Froch; and Howard 'Clakka' Clarke who fought at Madison Square Garden for the IBF Light Middleweight Title - he lost, after which his career took a significant nose-dive with him winning only one fight out of his next seventy. He retired in 2007.
India's Punjab is the land of the five rivers, five (Punj) rivers (Aab) - Ravi, Satluj, Chenab, Beas and Jhelum. It is also the birthplace of Max Kandhola's family, who historically were landowners, with connections to farming, agriculture and also to the military. Max Kandhola decided to go back to Punjab after completing his project "Illustration of Life" (2002) in which he documented his father's last moments of life, and reflected on issues within Sikh ritual, immortality and death. Over the last four years, he has visited the region as part of a continuing project to map family history through an odyssey of ancestral narratives, exploring memory, diaspora and identity. For him it is a land which is unfamiliar, yet it provides both a context and a beginning. Kandhola's journey began in Nurmahal, in the district of Jalandhar, from which most of his family originally came. Using this as a starting point he travelled from the centre of Punjab outwards.
With texts by Mark Sealy, Garry Hesse and Anne McNeil. In our unpredictable world there is one certainty upon which we can always rely; yet death, when it comes, is never easy. In this body of work, Max Handhola photographed his father in the final stages of cancer, taking serenely abstract images of blood, urine, hair, and ultimately even ash, which form a counterpoint to the haunting final photographs made at his father's bedside, including the moments just before and after death. An intensely personal, honest and moving narrative.
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