Vibrant Portrait of a Community
I recall the Handsworth Self Portraits in 1979, and still have the print of my own self portrait, but until we set this up in Caldmore in October 2008 I had no idea of the impact this project could have.
As a tool for engagement it has an immediacy which beats anything else I’ve been involved with. But it was the impact which this had on individual participants which excited me most. Everyone who took part, even those initially reluctant or shy, emerged from the temporary studio (a tent on Caldmore Green) with expressions of pleasure and pride.
The resulting portraits, all set against a plain backdrop which said nothing about the individual or their environment, present such a positive collective image of the community. These people could be anyone, anywhere, but the reality is that some will have only momentarily forgotten worries about money, poor health, feeding the kids, a violent partner or going to a job which doesn’t fulfil them. But none of this shows in these portraits. What we see is a vibrant portrayal of the Caldmore community.
Margot Lambert, Head of Housing and Care Services, Caldmore Community Housing