I hope you are keeping well.
I am a photographer based in Shipley, West Yorkshire. I am best known for capturing socially-engaged work, and conceptual studio portraiture is my first love. I have just been awarded my 7th round of Arts Council funding to undertake my biggest project yet. And here’s where I hope you can help.
I am looking for participants.
As a female photographer of British-Pakistani heritage, I’m somewhat of a rarity in my field I’ve found. Moreover, women of colour (Black, Asian, Hispanic, Arab -BAHA) who occupy senior or professional roles in their respective industries are still lower in number than their white, male counterparts. And yet I know we exist because I exist. To celebrate these ‘hidden figures’, I am inviting UK based BAHA women (including trans women of colour) to have their portraits shot for a mammoth project - 'Women in Uniform’ - in a conceptual way that shares their individual truths, centring around what their ‘uniform’ means to them. A recorded Zoom conversation will take place first to discuss this and to go through the documenting process and then I will arrange to have their photos shot in my Shipley studio, when it is convenient for them. This will cover a May ’22 - Feb ’23 timeframe to allow for flexibility.
A groundbreaking exhibition will launch on 8th March 2023 (international Women’s Day) at the beautiful Haworth Art Gallery in Accrington and will run until 14th May ’23.
As a huge supporter of ‘Black Lives Matter’, and also communities which are considered minority and/or vulnerable in general, ‘Women in Uniform’ is an organic progression in my own artistic evolution. To recap: WIU will celebrate the achievements of professional women of colour in industries where they are traditionally under-represented. In an effort to dismantle preconceived stereotypes and systemic, institutionalized racism and misogyny, I want to build a strong subject dialogue and discuss the complex interplay between women of colour and cultural sensitivities by inviting them to discuss the sub-text and role of ‘their uniform’, and what/how it represents them individually.
Finally, as a thank you, all participants will receive their own 10x8” signed and mounted gift portrait from the series.
I look forward to hearing from you. Please could I ask you to share this with interested parties and potential subjects too.
Keep up the good work.