The Royal Photographic Society is pleased to announce a ground-breaking photography exhibition, created in partnership with Bristol Care Homes, Arts Council England and the Quartet Community Foundation.
During Spring 2022, the RPS worked with three Bristol care homes to help care staff create unique and personal portraits of the older people in their care. Through a series of workshops and tutorials led by photographer Colin Moody, the care teams were supported to make creative and meaningful images of residents, whilst reflecting on their memories of Queen Elizabeth II.
Evan Dawson, RPS CEO said: “This project demonstrates the special power of the arts to bring people together. The care teams and older people have been brilliant and have clearly benefitted in so many ways from their experiences, learning new skills too. The resulting photographs are powerful, moving and of a very high quality. Please do come and see the exhibition at the RPS, as part of our mission to bring photography to everyone.”
The resulting 47 portraits shown below are being displayed at the Royal Photographic Society, Bristol from 11 June.
Care home resident, Jules Challen, took pictures of her day over the course of a week. Jules wanted to have the camera left with her for long enough so she could tell a story of her day and the encounters she experiences.
With wit and wisdom, she shot images capturing moments of boredom, bursts of human contact, and much more.
“Jules wanted to share her limited mobility through photographs, so I spent the workshops and follow up visits with her at chair level and I was impressed at the world view she was sharing. I’m excited to hear what Jules would be interested in photographing next, once she gets to see her work displayed in this way at the RPS” – Colin Moody
A letter written by June Donovan describing her fond memories of the Queen:
“…Then came the wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Philip Mountbatten which was a joyous affair after the long war years. A few years later George VI died, and Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II. We didn’t have a TV, so we went to my married sisters house in Surrey to watch it and my sister made sandwiches, so we didn’t miss any. There was a street party, and I had a new dress which was red, white, and blue.” – June Donovan
“We set June’s letter against fragments of light summer dresses in those three Jubilee colours. By breaking up the letter into smaller parts it forms a beat to the photo story.” – Colin Moody
Touch and Tenderness
“We talked in the workshops about the story of life in the care homes being like a song. It needs all the notes, a chorus, pace, and light and darker notes. During the process, we took images that showed subtler, gentler, real moments that make up life in a care home.
I encouraged the staff and residents to spend time with the person and to not take photos right away. They were bold and let the photos come with patience. They took time to figure out where to place the camera phone, and how to use light.
I was excited to see how their approach showed real consideration of tenderness, both in the subject, and technique”