Those portraits were commissioned for the Black History Month and are currently exhibited ( 1st of October – 22nd of November) at the City Art Gallery (Guildhall) of Southampton with 7 other portraits taken by two other photographers.
In chronological order, I took the portrait of Bob Purkiss, Angela Glenn, Craig David and Rosie Purves.
Each person were chosen for being from, living in or having worked a long time in Southampton, and for being the prime actor of some significant achievement for the black community.
With most of them I had a short but very pleasant conversation, and especially with the last person I photographed for this exhibition, Rosie Purves. Rosie Purves won a trial against the General Hospital who indirectly approved and is still approving the racist behavior of some patients' parents (Rosie Purves has been a pediatric nurse for more than 30 years, if I remember well). We exchanged a few general thoughts on which we surprisingly both agreed, and she definitely convinced me that The Black Month History has – unfortunately- its reason to be.
Two things she said I hope I won’t forget : that you have to fight the system from the inside, and that you should share what you have.
All the people I have photographed for Black Gold have one thing in common : Hope. Hope for something a bit more fair.
I am extremely thankful to Alice Workman (Lead exhibition Officer), Don John (Development Officer) and the Southampton City Art Gallery for giving us such a wonderful opportunity,
the photo technicians at Southampton Solent University (Simon Griggs, Peter O’Keefe and Rosy Maguire), and especially to Simon Griggs for helping me printing and mounting the pictures.
I would also like to thank Solent University for partially funding the project thanks to the intervention of Guy Moreton, senior Lecturer and Level 3 tutor.
Photography, Portrait, Portraiture, black history month, southampton