Leif Sandberg is an ordinary person, but a truly extraordinary photographer. Life took a real turn when he at the age of 64 learned that he might have pancreatic cancer.
Photography: Leif Sandberg

During the struggle that followed, he initiated a project where he, through the use of images, conveyed not only the emotional roller-coaster of dealing with the illness, but also the coming to terms with the harsh realisation that the ageing process had really taken its toll.

“I have always enjoyed a general interest in art, which led me to enrol in art history courses when well into my fifties. When my life later pivoted as a result of my cancer, I suddenly felt the need to also create something myself.”

From the start, the focus was not only on dealing with the fact that life was coming to an end – a thought stemming from the anxiety attacks brought on by years of career  stress. The act of photographing also constituted a form of therapy, and the images also came to depict the true significance of his forty-year relationship with his partner.

“It’s really about how you piece it all together: The anxiety attacks in the wake of the realisation that one is ageing rapidly, while at the same time seeing the light in a relationship. My images are more about the thoughts triggered by the disease than the disease itself.”

Ending is Leif Sandberg’s first monograph. “Ending does not present conclusive answers – everyone can delve in with their own history and experiences, and my hope is that the book can offer the viewer a sense of perspective regarding their own lives and ageing processes.”

Ending was published by Bœcker Books 2017. Beyond the Mirror, published 2018 by Void starts where Ending ends and explores after death and worlds outside our normal perception. Both books are available at https://leifsandberg.com/ and Beyond the Mirror also at https://void.photo