Monday, 25 October 2010


Alf hadn’t considered his potential as a photographer’s model As I walked past Morley College window this photograph of my next-door-neighbour-but-three seemed to jump out of the window and shake me by the hand. Alf is a man who spent his life in the print industry. I know him as an elder at the church-on-the-corner, a family man and a spirited member of the community on our estate.  

I went into the Gallery to find out more. LIFE is the name of an exhibition mounted by Southside and designed to ‘explore identity, diversity and community’ through portraits of 20 local faces.    And what is Southside? A youth, media, music and arts project based in Waterloo which ‘gives quiet people voices’, through ‘constructive and creative opportunities’.   Why do they do that? To ‘inspire hope, motivate ambition and embrace diversity’.  
On the gallery walls were silhouettes on the theme of Defeating Our Fears  made by young artists from Southside of themselves.  It’s presented by Dulwich Picture Gallery. And the photographer? Jack Thomson lives in Waterloo and presents a weekly show on Southside Radio. He is one of their most experienced news reporters. He also produces his own music and helps other young people produce theirs. He is 15 years old.

All the portraits are inspired by the subjects’ one word description of themselves. Here are some of the words they came up with:
 peaceful/ quizzical/ lost /joker /positive /powerful /quiet /fab /thinking /confident /content /happy/shy /graceful / /confused /modest /lively /protective /inquisitive...
Which do you think Alf chose?
Which would you choose for yourself?

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