Living Legacies

A touring exhibition of large-format photographic portraits, commissioned by LinkAge.

Initial consultation with subjects and participants of the project unearthed personal and collective concerns surrounding a lack of legacy for the various groups of elders LinkAge support.

Traditional representation of legacy in European art leads us to grand portrait paintings and statues in public places, victories, remembrance, stature and even perhaps decadence. The social landscape is now quite different.

These new portraits offer a counter-point to this type of legacy in art by offering the subjects an honorary gift of legacy through an individual photograph modeled on a Sir Thomas Lawrence painting.

For Black History Month they replaced the gilded oil paintings between the councillor’s chambers and meeting rooms in Bristol City Hall. So in moving between rooms, in making decisions about the city, the councillors would see the faces of those who would be directly affected, not an 18th century politician or businessman.

Further shows were hung at M Shed Museum and the Malcolm X Centre and a small image given to all subjects, who at each opening would organise singing flash-mobs, thus contributing to the charity’s work on alleviating the social isolation old age can bring.