I visited the 159th RPS International Print Exhibition, at The Civic in Barnsley, on 13 May 2017.
The International Print Exhibition comprises images from 75 diverse photographers from 16 different countries. Entries are from both amateur and professional photographers. It was interesting that for the first time, all medal winners were women.
This silver medal winning image caught my attention. The photographer, Polly Braden, started her work on this project in 2014. She wanted to produce a body of work that showed what people with learning difficulties could achieve with the right support. The image below shows Lucie, who had been watching the boys jumping in the water and showing off for the camera. Polly asked her if she wanted to swim underwater for a photograph. She captured this image after a few attempts.
This image appeals to my interest in ordinary people. I think it shows an ordinary young woman doing something extraordinary and making it look easy. I like how there is both a sense of movement, in the actions of her legs, yet a feeling of peace and freedom in her expression and the stillness of her arms.
I was particularly interested in Peter Zelewski’s images from his ‘Twins’ series. I had seen these images before, on Zelewski’s website. I was genuinely surprised to see them at this exhibition in my home town, and delighted. I am an identical twin myself, and I admit to being fascinated by other twins. I, along with the rest of the population, enjoy looking to see how alike sets of twins can be. However, for me, and I assume for other identical twins, the representation of us solely in terms of our physical similarities and differences is more complex than that.
Thomas and Lorenco. Kira and Taya
Exhibition: The RPS International Print Exhibition. Barnsley Civic: (11.4.17-3.6.17) At: http://www.barnsleycivic.co.uk/events/the-royal-photographic-society-international-print-exhibition-159