As and When - A participatory photography exhibition with residents and community groups in newtowns

Bratchford, Gary (2017) As and When - A participatory photography exhibition with residents and community groups in newtowns. [Show/Exhibition] (In Press)

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The Brindley and Halton CCG invite Gary Bratchford and Robert Parkinson to collaborate with residents to exploring what it means to be Healthy in Halton.

The Brindley have partnered up with Halton CCG (Clinical Commissioning group) to invite local residents from Runcorn and the wider Halton region to explore health and well-being within the community. Working with photographers Gary Bratchford and Robert Parkinson local individuals and groups from across the region will meet and work with the pair to explore issues around barriers to health and well-being, and explore how photography and image based media can challenge pre-existing ideas and fears to exploring this topic. It is envisaged that the project can encourage those who feel most isolated to experience a positive visual message about wellbeing in their community.

‘As and When’, community photography exhibition at The Brindley Theatre, Halton
Opening Day: 1st July 
Exhibition: 1st July – 2nd September


As and When, an exhibition of original photography, is launching this summer in The Brindley Theatre in Halton. The show reflects on the ideas and identities of two distinct groups of Halton residents, looking at how we build a sense of community and what we mean by health and wellbeing.

The photographs on show are an honest look at the daily lives of two community groups, the Women of Windmill Hill and Widnes Vikings Golden Generation group. As and When, launching 1st July, shows how two communities living either side of the iconic Runcorn Bridge are brought together through shared perspectives on social mobility, local visibility, health and well-being.

The Women of Windmill Hill, a group based in the Runcorn estate, began their project by actively reconnecting with their area and its history. Along the way, they decided to base the style of their work on a 1970s promotional article about moving to the area, at a time when families were often dispersed to the “suburbs” and away from the Liverpool slums. They are exhibiting a body of work that compares promised perceptions of Windmill Hill in the 1970s’ with the reality of today.

To explore the lives of Widnes Vikings Golden Generation Group, a social group for fans of the Super League club aged over 55, the community were each given a disposable camera and asked to document what they do on match day before arriving at the stadium. Through this process, the group collectively captured over 450 photographs. These images reveal the true extent of their social mobility and daily interactions, further highlighting their common aim of breaking down stereotypes that being older means being in-active.

The show has been developed by Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery and Halton Clinical Commissioning Group, with venue partner The Brindley Theatre. Open Eye Gallery invited photographers Gary Bratchford and Robert Parkinson to meet and work with the communities. The work was produced collaboratively, with all artistic decisions made by both the photographers and members of the groups.

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