Unity and Diversity
Barry Lewis started as a chemistry teacher with photography as a hobby. Barry stopped teaching in 1974 when he won a scholarship to the RCA where he studied under Bill Brandt. In 1976 he won the Vogue award and worked for a year with the magazine. In 1977 he received an arts council grant to photograph commuting in London, which was exhibited in the Museum of London. Working mainly for magazines, in 1999 he was a cofounder of the photo agency Network which played an important roll in British Photojournalism for over 20 years. A regular contributor to Life Magazine, National Geographic, and the Sunday Times Barry has worked globally until 2014 and made over 20 books. He has exhibited throughout the world and received several awards including the Oscar Barnac medal for humanitarian photography. From 2015 for 5 years Barry worked mainly on documentary films but has returned to photography in 2021 when he started his current work! “Intersections”: a study of London through portraits and words of the people.
Intersections, Portraits of Londoners
2021 - 2022
"Intersections" is about creating a portrait of Londoners at the junctions where they meet on the street, reflecting our shared experiences and individuality.
I take an unusual, large-format portrait camera to a range of public intersections and ask individuals to take part in a collaborative co-creation: each person will participate in their portrait taking and will be asked to share their story.
I explain the project and request 5-10 minutes of their time to have their portrait taken on this 5/4” plate camera, largely unchanged since the birth of photography. This is a totally different experience from the grabbed images of street photographers and selfies taken on mobile phones: it involves connection, reflection, talking, and sharing in a completely different way.
With this process, the subject pauses, reflects on my suggestion, agrees then poses and together we create an image.
This is a slow ritual in a public space: there is total recognition of the person as an individual and an attempt to reflect their energy, essence and life.