Portraits change the way we see one another. Whether this is professional photos, selfies on Instagram or snapshots of our friends, the images that we make of ourselves and each other speak volumes about who we are and who we want to be.
Through portraits, we come face to face with someone else; we can glimpse their lives, relationships and values. They make a space in which we can challenge the assumptions that we often hold about people — a chance to empathise, to consider the experience of someone else. By coming into contact with a broad range of people and identities, we learn how to locate ourselves within the world.
In the first space, we present work selected by VidA Creative Learning, a collective of young women in Birkenhead. Guided by thinking about what people wear and how they present themselves, the group have selected work from Open Eye Gallery’s archive.
In gallery two, we present four projects from SIXTEEN, a national initiative in which artists have collaborated with over 170 young people from across the UK. All projects depart from the question ‘What does it feel like to be 16 years old today?’
Finally, we share The Olympians by Katherine Green. She met with athletes from the 1948 London Olympics, and took portraits of them as they reflected on photos of themselves competing — 64 years before the 2012 games.