Visible Girls: Revisited, is a new photography commission and national travelling exhibition of female portraits by photographer Anita Corbin. The exhibition brings together original images of women from different subcultures of the early 1980s and newly commissioned portraits of the same women now.
The work will reunite women with their adolescent selves, exploring the ways in which photography can reveal and reflect upon identity and society at various stages of women's lives.
In 1981, as a young female photographer at the beginning of her career, Corbin made 28 double portraits of young women from different cultural groups: skins, mods, punks, rockabillies, new romantics, rastas and young lesbians. She was fascinated by the ways in which cultural allegiance and identity were boldly and explicitly expressed through fashion, music and environment by women emerging from adolescence. Captured in their natural hangouts of clubs, pubs, friends’ homes and social centres, these girls were living in the moment and dreaming of the future. The groundbreaking project, Visible Girls, toured the UK in the 80s and 90s, showing in youth clubs, town halls and libraries. The images are a rarity for the time, not only because of their subjects but because of the photographer's technical approach using slow colour film and portable flash.
Last year Corbin launched an international social media campaign in order to track the women down. Now, 36 years later and with over 70% of the women found, the original images of those young women will be displayed alongside a new series - of the women they became.
Alongside the images will be original tape recordings of interviews with some of the girls from 1981 and interviews with them now. The individual stories behind each image will be revealed, exploring how the women's lives have changed since the original shot was taken. What has happened in those 36 years? Have their lives developed as they imagined? How have changes in society and its attitudes to women affected them?
The 56 women who feature in the images were mainly from London but some were on a day trip or on holiday in the city when Corbin photographed them, many are now living in Europe or further afield. The exhibition will tour England - each location will have a unique presentation inspired by the voice of the city.
Do you know any of these Visible Girls? The search continues for the remaining 30% of the missing subjects - join us on social media and help us find them #VisibleGirls.
An events programme of talks, workshops and masterclasses announced by each venue will accompany the exhibition.