A nice cup of tea
This year I am going to be the photographer for a project called ‘A Nice Cup of Tea’. This is a programme of exhibitions, discussions and performances to explore the complex legacy of Empire, transatlantic slavery and trade, particularly in relation to Oxford City and Oxford University. It is part of local events to commemorate the arrival of the Empire Windrush in 1948, bringing migrants from the Caribbean to start a new life in Britain. We started talking about it long before the Windrush Generation became so prominent in the news. It now seems more important than ever to raise awareness of the complex issues surrounding this most British of beverages.
For now, I have been photographing tea cups, but there will be portraits to come soon.
In June 2017, one year after the Brexit vote in the UK, there was a national day of action, calling people everywhere to imagine one day without the immigrants who have made the UK their home. These are the images from a photo booth which I ran for one hour at Oxford Town Hall on that day. This was a random selection of people who volunteered to be photographed. I am very proud to live in such a diverse city. It’s part of what makes it so special.
In May 2018 Oxford’s twin city in Grenoble held an exhibition at Maison de L’international including some of these images.
The Gratitude Project
Oxford University is currently investing in portraits which move away from the typical “white male” faces we see on most of the walls. I was delighted to be commissioned to make two of the portraits of this new series. Kumi Naidoo, a South African human rights activist, who used to be International Executive Director of Greenpeace and Reeta Chakrabarti the British news journalist, presenter and correspondent for BBC News.
Media Trust Portraits
These portraits were all taken for the Media Trust, an organisation which links media professionals with charities.
Eu Migrants Portraits
During the campaign before the UK’s referendum on EU membership in 2016 there was little emphasis on the positive aspects of migration. I made this series of portraits of people, who would most likely not have been able to come to this country if we had, as was much touted, an “Australian-style” points system. I wanted to show respect for the hard work of all types of migrants in our society, not just those who already have a profession or a degree when they come here.
Duke of Cambridge at Core Arts Hackney
It’s not every day that you get asked to photograph a future king, while he checks out the work of one of the country’s most inspiring mental health arts charities. I had that opportunity at Core Arts in Hackney on May 10th. Prince William was impressively engaged with the issue of mental health and completely at ease chatting with Core Art’s diverse members. Unfortunately, I can’t post all my images, but here are a couple.