Our Places, Our Priorities - a photo exhibition by homeless people

30 May 2014
by Neil Skinner

Next week a collection of photographic works by homeless and formerly homeless people will go on display at a special exhibition at Lincoln Central Library.  

The Our Places, Our Priorities exhibition will be held between Monday, June 2 and Saturday, June 14, at Lincoln Central Library. Admission is free and will be permitted between 9am and 5pm. 

The exhibition is the result of aroung 18 months’ work by residents at The Pathway’s Centre, an emergency accommodation complex in Lincoln operated by Framework. 

Moneybags, by Andrew Wingell.

Moneybags, by Andrew Wingell

In this blog, project and exhibition facilitator David McAleavey, of the Social Science Centre, explains how it all came about....

“It all started with a simple plan in October 2012 with a group of volunteers living at The Pathways Centre. We would meet for two hours, once a week, and go for a walk. Whilst walking we would photograph anything that we found interesting, anything that made us stop and pay attention.

Cheer Up, by Louise Kent

Cheer Up, by Pathways Centre Manager Louise Kent

"The things that we photographed would then become the topic of our conversation (our priorities)… why do we want to photograph this?

Andy sorting images.

Andy sorting out some of his images at The Pathways Centre

“After our walk, time permitting, we would process our photographs and pop to the minilab to print a selection. The plan was that we’d work towards creating a collection of 12 photographs that could be displayed around The Pathways Centre (our place), and possibly used for a calendar (and a portable display) to help raise awareness about Framework, and funds for future creative projects.

 St George, by Michael Anderson

St George, by Michael Anderson

“As you read the project’s blog posts, you’ll notice that the ‘we’ that constitute the project participants has not only included residents and staff from Framework and scholars from the Social Science Centre, Lincoln, but  many of the people we have encountered whilst out walking, talking and photographing Lincoln.


 Kev shows off some of his work "on location."

“A good illustration of how the project has created new relationships between us and our City is how we met Paul the mason. Last year Andrew took a photograph of Moneybags, a grotesque that had recently appeared between the transepts on the south side of Lincoln Cathedral. David bumped into Paul on Steep Hill a few months later, and told him about Andrew’s photograph (David recognized Paul from a life-size photograph that had appeared on the boards surrounding the foot of the scaffolding tower at the west front of the Cathedral). As a token, Our Place, Our Priorities gifted Paul a copy of the photograph, in turn, Paul is in the process of trying to organize a visit to the stonemason’s studio for a taster workshop in stone carving. 

“People often ask me what the benefit of photography is to vulnerable people. I think the above story explains a lot; it is about providing people with an opportunity to try something new, to learn new skills, and to meet new people. Also, with a camera in their hands, many people begin to view their surroundings and their community in a different and more positive way. To see people change and develop as a direct result of a their exposure to the art of photography is really very inspiring.

“It has been a privilege to be part of this project. I have learnt so much from the other participants. I would urge everyone with an interest in photography or the issues faced by homeless and vulnerable people to come along.”

If you'd like to see some of this work up close, or maybe even have a chat to the people behind the work, then please come along during the course of the exhibition.

Our Places Our Priorities flyer


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