United Kingdom

God Has No Favourites 
God Has No Favourites is an intimate photographic document that explores Lauren family’s response to her mother’s diagnosis of secondary brain cancer until her death on the 17th August 2018. The artist’s parents were officers in the Salvation Army for 45 years; the majority of those years were served abroad as missionaries in Africa. They moved back to the UK in 2016 when her mother’s cancer spread to the brain and her father became her primary carer. The project in its nature was a therapeutic collaboration for the family and shows the intimate moments shared during this time. 

“I hope that the images will reveal the loving and trusting complexion shared among our family whilst also exposing the struggles and pain caused by such an experience”, Lauren expressed. Despite the subject being intensely personal, the images try to transcend this and speak of a more universal narrative about love, family, loss, strength and fragility that any viewer could understand. The artist’s family is a microcosm for this dynamic, occurring all too often within families who are also experiencing much of the same struggle. Subsequently the work is raw, showing a certain vulnerability without aspiring to be sentimental. 

Everyone experiences death alone, death separates us from everyone around us and it is an experience that we cannot share with anyone else. Humans have had to face death and mortality since the beginning of time, but our experience of the dying process has changed dramatically in recent history. Death used to be sudden, unexpected and relatively quick, people did not fear death as much as they do now. Having conversations about death occur far too infrequently. In case of Lauren’s mother, she believed that she was going to be healed by God until the day she died. When the artist asked her father why God would let her mum suffer and die, he simply replied, “because God has no favourites.”

Lauren Forster is a portrait and documentary photographer; her work mainly addresses sociological issues and explores the human condition with her family playing a central role to her work. Her work has been exhibited and published internationally, with exhibitions in the UK, Ireland, Italy, New York, Malaysia, New Zealand, Korea and Japan. Features of her work have been published in National Geographic magazine, British Journal of Photography and in Fotoroom. She was a participating artist published in the book On Death in collaboration with Humble Arts Foundation which was voted by Time as one of the best photobooks of 2019. In 2018 she was a winner of Portrait of Britain, a finalist in the Royal Photographic Society International Photography Exhibition 161, winner in the International Photography Awards: Photo Essay and Feature Story, winner of the Source Magazine Graduate Photography award and was invited to take part in the 209 Women exhibition at the Houses of Parliament. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Wellcome Photography Prize, Portrait Salon award and the Kuala Lumpur International Photography Portrait Award. 

Lauren Forster (UK) "God Has No Favourites" - Helphoto 2020
Lauren Forster (UK) "God Has No Favourites" - Helphoto 2020