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Hidden by Red Saunders

Hidden by Red Saunders

Large scale re-imagined photographic tableaux by Red Saunders

9 March 2013 — 29 September 2013

Hidden_by_Red_Saunders_Wiiliam_Cuffay_and_the_London_Chartists_1842_©_Red_Saunders_courtesy_Impressions_Gallery_Bradford_and_The_Culture_Company

The museum is delighted to announce its current changing exhibition features re-imagined photographic tableaux by Red Saunders.

An Impressions Gallery touring exhibition, Hidden recreates great moments in the long struggle for rights and representation in Britain.  It is particularly fitting that these photographic tableaux be on show at the People’s History Museum – the national museum of democracy in Britain and the home of ‘ideas worth fighting for’.  With the past often dominated by Kings, Queens and military battles, the aim of the Hidden project was to recreate the historic scenes involving the dissenters, revolutionaries, radicals and non-conformists who have often been hidden from history.

Red Saunders said:
“The importance of exhibiting my ‘Hidden project’ at PHM became abundantly clear after touring the two packed floors of superb exhibits.  I kept coming across images and reference material I had myself researched during the making of these ‘Hidden’ images and at each turn of a corner there was a section about Mary Wollstonecraft or Tom Paine or the Chartists and William Cuffay. It’s wonderful that  the project will be exhibited in such fine company in the new museum and underlines the importance of shining a light on these important events and characters of working class history that are Hidden”.

Each scene is carefully planned and lit, using costumed models in the style of tableaux vivants (living pictures). Together they suggest photographic ‘evidence’ for events that occurred before the widespread adoption of camera technology.

To find out more about Red Saunders, his inspiration and more details about the process involved in creating these magnificent images, look at the Q & A with Red and the Impressions Gallery, Bradford.

Copyright credit for both images: Hidden by Red Saunders 2012, courtesy of Impressions Gallery, Bradford, and The Culture Company.

Red Saunders is a professional photographer who combines his photographic practice with cultural, artistic, musical, and political activism. A former  member of the 60′s underground theatre group CAST, he made his name with nearly two decades of work for the ground breaking Sunday Times colour supplement, until he ended his association following the Wapping dispute of 1986-7. He was a founder member and activist with the Rock against Racism campaign from 1976 onwards. An arson attack destroyed his studio and life work in 1994 and he did not return to photography until the end of the decade, turning instead to film-making. In recent years he has focussed on personal work, the Hidden project.

Impressions Gallery promotes photography that gets people looking, thinking and talking. Established in 1972 as one of the first specialist photographic galleries in Europe, it has grown to become one of the UK’s leading independent venues for contemporary photography. Its new building in Centenary Square Bradford, which opened in August 2007, is the first public-funded specially built gallery for photography in the UK. Impressions is funded by Arts Council England, Yorkshire, and Bradford Metropolitan District Council. www.impressions-gallery.com

Exhibition updates:

  • Each of the eight vivid images featured in the exhibition are available as full colour greeting cards and posters in the museum shop.  A limited run of posters have been signed by Red Saunders – get yours while stocks last!
  • If you’re a teacher, tutor or group leader why not have a look at our Hidden learning resources.  Our Learning Team have worked with Alexandria Walsh, a History student from the University of Huddersfield, to create lesson plans and resource packs for school and adult groups.
  • Did you know that can book one of our Living History performances about William Cuffay who features in the exhibition, Slavery & Suffrage – William Cuffay’s Story.For further information please contact the Learning Team on 0161 838 9190 or email learning@phm.org.uk

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