New Year’s Message

Posted: January 2nd, 2019

Happy New Year!

It does seem only a short while ago that I was writing asking for help to fund the book Big Brother. So much has happened with the project since then and I wanted to write to briefly recap, and more importantly to tell you about up and coming events.

Of course the first stage was to use the money to finish designing and to produce the very best book myself and Dewi Lewis could make. It was launched at Photo London in May 2018. Judging by your warm comments, (and thank you so much if you have reached out personally to me) we have come up with something special, and which most importantly does justice to my brother’s story.

So what’s been happening?

Justin examining his portrait at the book launch show case exhibition theprintspacegallery, June 2018, London


The book has captured the imagination of many and I’m pleased to say created impact on the international stage. It has had some really great reviews and I was particular pleased to be nominated for the Les Rencontres d’Arles Photo-Text Book Award. I have also just returned from Lianzhou Foto Festival in China where the work was shown as a solo show and shortlisted for the Punctum Prize.

As well as this it made British Journal of Photography, ‘Best Photobooks of the year (so far)’, 2 August 2018 (nomination by Yumi Goto) and the El Pais selection of best photo books of 2018.

Last few preparations before show opens in Lianzhou, December 2018


This year (in the first half of 2019) the work will be shown in at least four shows in four countries. The first of these will be the London Art Fair’s Photo50 Exhibition where Tim Clark has curated an exciting group show entitled ‘Who’s looking at Family Now’. The opening night is January 15th.

I’m going to post a detailed list below but in addition there will be shows in Beirut’s Sursock Musum, F3 Berlin, Format Festival, Derby and Mucem, Marseille .

Apart from being a great place to catch up, Derby’s home grown Format Festival is where the book was spotted and nurtured to publication, so it’s great to be back to show Big Brother as an exhibition; I do hope to see some of you there.

I enjoyed participating in many talks last year but I wanted to thank in particular (for the opportunity to talk to the next generation of photographers), London LCC, Edinburgh Napier, Falmouth and South Wales Universities. The energy in the room was fantastic at all these venues. Let’s hope I can do a few more similar talks in 2019.

The book is still available on my website. Thanks all once more for your time, support and interest in this work.

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Head over to the news section to get a list of everything thats happend and happening with details and links.




Big Brother , The Book.

Posted: May 25th, 2018

So ‘Big Brother’ (published with Dewi Lewis ) officially launched, with a  signing at Photo London the 18th of this month (and is now available to buy in  shops and direct from Dewi, or me here.) 

Big Brother is a book exploring my brother Justin’s struggle with Schizophrenia, see bottom for synopsis.

Its been an amazing journey, from Kick Starting the book successfully in October 2017 to seeing the book beautifully reproduced in print, and receiving so many kind and warm words of support ( see the Twitter and Instagram feeds).  Most importantly, the toughest reviewers, Justin and Jackie, both tell me they like the book.

I’m using this blog page to recap and summarize some of the latest happenings around the project , click here for future events. If you are able to support the work or let your audiences know about this important resource  please do share or contact me on how you can help.




The work was exhibited at Circulations Festival Paris, Summer 2017, a festival devoted to European photography.  it was Renaissance Prize winner October 2017 In the same year reviewed in British Journal of Photography , Source; and Le Monde (download) have run it over 8-10 pages in their Portfolio section.

Official press release can be downloaded here and A short film; and more pictures are on my website, here

Thank you as always for your support,



An estimated 1 in 4 of us will suffer from a mental illness during our lifetime. Those suffering have to face a wall of
stigma and stereotyping which can often make their condition worse.
Big Brother is an intimate photographic portrait of Louis Quail’s older brother, Justin, and his daily struggle with
schizophrenia. The condition is severe and Justin has been sectioned three times in his life. Yet, as the book shows,
there is much more to him than his illness. He has interests, hobbies (painting and poetry and especially
birdwatching). He also has love; he has been with his girlfriend, Jackie, for over 20 years.
By showing the person beyond the illness, Big Brother challenges stigma head on. It reveals a system in crisis;
under resourced and creaking under the weight of its own bureaucracy, but it also discovers important truths on
the nature of resilience. At its heart, though, Big Brother is a love story.
The book includes extensive texts to tell Justin’s story. The complexity of his life is reflected in the complex structure
of the book which incorporates a number of inserts that provide a deep insight into Justin’s world through extracts
from medical reports, police records and from his own notebooks. The book also includes many of Justin’s
drawings and paintings as well as a separate booklet featuring both these and his poetry.










News – Big Brother

Posted: April 6th, 2017

In a hurry and want to know about  the projects future developments ( book and exhibition etc )  please find me on Instagram or twitter @louisquail or choose a social network to right right if available.

Big Brother is an intimate photographic portrayal of my brother, Justin’s struggle with schizophrenia. It utilises multiple sources of documentation to show his life from different perspectives; his art, my photographs and narration juxtapose with medical and police records. The work reveals a system in crisis, but at its heart is a love story and a project that values and celebrates those suffering from mental health.

This page shows a small sample of pictures and discusses the projects ambitions.

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Where it can be seen

I am currently looking to publish the work as a book and show it as an exhibition as well as disseminating the project in talks and presentations. The work may also be translated (funding allowing) into a performance, using more experimental and explorative forms, to draw out parts of the story, which are difficult to document.

Shine On You Crazy Diamond


Schizophrenia is a disease that can wreck lives; it can explode whole families (it did ours) and leave shock waves that can be felt generations later.

One in four of us will suffer from a mental health problem in the UK this year. Despite this, funding is shrinking and increasingly the police have to step in to fill the space; with sometimes absurd consequences.

Justin has been sectioned three times in his life and there is no getting away from the fact that his condition is severe. Yet hopefully as we turn the pages and get to know him better, we see there is more to Justin than his illness. He has interests, hobbies and yes, loves. Justin has been dating his girlfriend, Jackie for over 20 years; although its not always a straightforward relationship. Nevertheless, the love story is central to the projects narrative, revealing their lives and also the authorities ‘Kafkaesque’ and clumsy attempts to both care for, and or control the pair.

Justin’s passion for bird-watching is a theme which knits the book together from start to finish; the resilience he draws from this hobby is an important theme.

This book did not set out to be a political polemic; rather, my intention was to fight stigma and share Justin’s story so we can understand, empathize and celebrate Justin’s individuality. However, inevitably by studying the problems affecting my brother, the work speaks of and draws attention to the crisis in mental health care, raising important questions about how we look after our most vulnerable citizens.


Justin’s self-portrait

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Vision and Mission

I am seeking to personalise the global issues surrounding mental health and to contribute culturally to conversations about how we fund services and care for our own. This work is a call to action, but also storytelling is what we humans do; by sharing our experiences, we help each other. Big Brother is important as a document, but at its core is its intrinsic artistic value; contributions by both myself and Justin can be valued in themselves and also as sparking points for other people’s creative journeys.

The project is still in development and I am looking for partners and assistance especially for:

Funding ( including crowd)

Exhibition venues

Talks and events



Marketing and social networks

please contact me if you can help, interested in an advance purchase of the book or would like or to be added the mailing list:

"Dead blackbird , I took it in to renaltas group and painted it 2011-13"