“Through the chance befriending of a man who became a kind of guide, Nik Roche spent two years photographing an extremely intimate portrait of an otherwise impenetrable community.
Collected together in this book, the images that resulted are scattered with the debris of a domesticity that, initially, seems familiar. Yet the more time we spend in here with them, the more perceptible the sound of this place becomes— in an increasing disorientation of our own presumptions. This book reveals as much about us as it does its subject, as it gradually peels back overlapping skins of fear and desire.
We find warmth in the ache of day-to-day banality, held tight together by unspeakable bonds and a hand-me-down sense of threat. We catch glimpses of hand-written letters, a shopping list, transcriptions of remembered conversations, of violent tales of self-affirmation that slide along a blade of hilarity… the punctuation of the endless now of time by extreme events that then give way to more waiting; that then give way to waves of opiatic calm between unseen confrontations that attempt to correct the distortions of the sounds of home that we have come to rely on.
And yet, throughout this book, we find love, compassion, incidental hope and the joy of familiar patterns. We find the structures of trust in kept animals and in the birds that offer release. And all the while, beyond the fires, we hear the distant sound of the external world, decaying in its failures.”
– From the foreword by Niall Sweeny
The Budgie Died Instantly is Nik Roche’s debut monograph. The book weaves between Roche’s own imagery, hand-written notes and transcribed conversations to create an intimate, complex and multi-layered narrative.