Over the winter of 2017-18, funded by Near Neighbours
, I set up a portable portrait studio at a range of community and faith events in Balsall Heath, made these portrait and gave prints there and then to those who kindly agreed to be photographed. All those photographed were invited to an exhibition of a large selection of their portraits at the Old Print Works, in March 2018.
Balsall Heath is a very diverse (technically superdiverse
) area, a couple of miles south of the centre of Birmingham. I've lived here, more or less, since 1998, and had a studio here since 2012. The intention of the project was to encourage local people to cross the thresholds of unfamiliar spaces in the area, first by the offer of a free portrait at an event they might not have attended otherwise, and second, by inviting people from all the events and groups to an exhibition to potentially meet one another, and to see their portraits alongside those of their near neighbours.