Seven female photographers from the Fylde area are leading the way in a major collaboration as part of a Royal Photographic Society exhibition in Blackpool.
Marianne van Loo, Dawn Mander, Claire Walmsley Griffiths, Libby Nightingale, Jill Reidy, Keeley Bentley and Kate Yates have joined around 60 other women to showcase their work in Representation on the Line: (Un)framing our Identities, at Hive, Church Street, Blackpool. The exhibition was initially displayed in London in the spring, and as it was so successful, it was transferred to the Fylde coast.
Marianne, 52, of Andsell, said: “There were two phases of the London exhibition, where seven photographers from the Blackpool area were involved. Because we were the single biggest cohort of one town, we though it would be extra-ordinary to get the show to Blackpool.
“Dawn Mander and Kate Yates are members of Arrested Redevelopment and with their background in putting up independent art galleries in and putting up art shows in local cafes such as Shaws and Hive, they had the expertise to work with the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) in bringing the show to Blackpool. It is amazing that the exhibition is coming to Blackpool and working with RPS is brilliant.”
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The Representation on the Line: (Un)framing our Identities exhibition has evolved from RPS’s campaign, Hundred Heroines: Celebrating Women in Photography.
The campaign, which was timed to celebrate the centenary year of some women getting the vote, asked for nominations to increase awareness of the impact women have made. Blackpool photographers Dawn Mander, Claire Griffiths and Marianne van Loo made the shortlist.
All photographers have used the general theme of reshaping women’s identities.
Marianne’s work focuses on fellow photographer Kate Yates, and her journey from transitioning from male to female and Dawn Mander’s exhibition documents a food bank/soup kitchen, where there was desire to be someone else, somewhere else.
Other examples of the work shown include: 45-year-old Libby Nightingale’s display on The Invisible Mother, depicting her life bringing up eight children and Kate Yates’s exploration on how identities are fluid at times, especially within the music and fashion culture.
Claire Walmsley Griffiths’s #retiredperformers series explores cross-generational story telling and how identities of place are formed from the people who live and work there told from their perspective.
Jill Reid has looked at how members of the punk community changed their looks for their everyday, working lives.
Keeley Bentley’s work challenges her transition to adulthood, which is explored through various female characters that provoke narratives surrounding the voyeur presented upon women showcased in the media.
RPS Vice President Del Barrett said: “I come across so many amazing women in photography, and yet their voice is nowhere near as powerful as their male counterparts. Hundred Heroines is a major step towards this, raising public awareness of the excellent work being created by women globally.”
Representation on the Line: (Un)framing our Identities, at Hive, Church Street, Blackpool, officially launches on Saturday, August 31, at 6pm. For free tickets visit www.eventbrite.co.uk. The exhibition runs until Monday, September 30.