…Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower…
William Wordsworth quoted in Polaroids
Polaroids is a swan song. It captures the party years in Boston and New York’s gay and transsexual scene, post-Stonewall, at a time when the Polaroid SX-70 Land camera had its heyday and is the last book that photographer David Armstrong was working on before his death at 60 from liver cancer in late 2014.
In this highly personal collection of colour Polaroid images of his friends, lovers and family, it’s never evident precisely when the photos were taken. The decade is the 1970s and only a few are captioned with a location at the back of the book where there is also a poem by Frank O’Hara, The Day Lady Died, which was added posthumously at Armstrong’s request. Other than that it’s left to the viewer to make connections. There are discernible