A unique photographic exhibition is to visit the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.
It’s the brainchild of a small group of North East photographers who call themselves the Portraits from the North East Collective, who have spent the last 18 months photographing people from the region who, in one way or another, have played their part in creating the vibrancy of the region with their significant contribution to what makes this region special.
Many of the faces are of people from the city of Sunderland and local photographer Peter Walton, who is a member of the Collective said: “Our aim was to photograph 100 people whose life and activities have made this region the good and vibrant place it is.
“To celebrate the achievements, the diversity and opportunities of the region, to share this with young people thereby providing aspiration, ambition and eagerness to achieve.’
“We believe that an exhibition of photographic portraits of people who, by their own success and contribution, have helped to develop the North East in a variety of ways, to display them all together in an exhibition with narrative and images, should inspire others to succeed, especially 14-18 age groups and those with disability.
“At this age, most people do not know what they want to do with their lives, this exhibition may inspire ideas.”
The subjects’ contribution has been by way of success in the medical profession, research, education, media, music, sport or business, on simply spending their lives in bringing our diverse communities together.
These include paraplegic athletes and members of the Hindu and Pakistani communities of the North East as subjects.
One of the team of photographers is wheelchair-bound which in itself demonstrates what can be achieved.
“The encouragement and interest from our subjects has been positive,” said Peter. “Why has this not been done before is often said!”
It’s hoped the exhibition will inspire young people to have faith and self-confidence by seeing others, often from humble backgrounds, and with other hurdles in their life, who can, and have achieved so much. Peter said: “It’s been an amazing journey, taking images of people who make our region successful.
“It is hoped that our work can go some way to underscoring the unique nature of the region and its vibrancy, offer an insight into its complex social structure and engender a sense of pride in the powerhouse that is The North East!’
Visit www.portraitsfromthenortheast.org for the people who are subjects in the exhibition, which runs at the Museum and Winter Gardens from November 3 to December 6.