First class photo show set for Sheffield station
Portrait of BritainÂ art exhibition, focusingÂ on public face on an unprecedented scale, is scheduled to arrive tomorrow at Sheffield rail station.
This week sees installation of the UK-wide exhibition that puts the citizens centre stage, taking over digital screens in shopping malls and high streets as well as track-side platforms.
Underlining the "enduring power of the portrait," the British Journal of Photography event in partnership with JCDecaux showcases 100 images "confronting the public with a reflection of themselves as they go about their daily business".
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Envisaged as an exhibition "by the people, of the people, for the people," it was initiated as an open call for photographs celebrating the country’s unique heritage and diversity.
Selected from almost 4,000 entries, the winning shots capture young and old, reflecting not just the multi-formity of British people, but also myriad of styles and approaches to contemporary photographic portraiture.
“Public art works well when it engages with its surroundings and local population,” said Simon Bainbridge, editorial director of the British Journal of Photography. “That’s what we wanted to do with Portrait of Britain.
"We wanted to show diversity in terms of who is being photographed, but we also wanted to see different ways of photographing. These are pictures that we all take in everyday life, but raised to a higher level by selecting, editing and presenting them in such a wide-ranging public exhibition.”
JCDecaux creative director Russell Gower added: “We are delighted to be working with the British Journal of Photography to bring this powerful exhibition to a national audience, celebrating the power of the photographic portrait across our portrait network. The project will turn our digital channel into a national portrait gallery throughout September, reaching people when they are out and about, commuting, shopping and socialising.”
Most subjects are everyday people, given noble status on the screens usually reserved for models and celebrities. However, there are some familiar names among the images such as Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussein, Faithless singer Maxi Jazz, Grime artist Stormzy, and photographer Don McCullin.
Images represent varying styles of photography - some formally posed, others randomly captured, many showing humanity at play. ‘Home’ is a common theme running throughout many, as are stories of migration and integration, picking up the mood of our post-Brexit times.