In a dramatic photographic ‘homecoming’ of sorts, the Ikon’s critically acclaimed gallery nestled deep within the neo-gothic buildings of Brindley Place is hosting the largest exhibition to date from American academic and filmmaker Janet Mendelsohn.
Intrigued by the power of the human story, Mendelsohn’s exhibit showcases her esteemed ‘photo-essay’ with the majority of the photos taken while Mendelsohn was a student here in Birmingham in the 1960s. Her work captures intimate images and portraits from a troubled Balsall Heath in an era when it was renowned as one of the largest red light districts in the UK.
The magnificent black and white prints use photography as a tool to analyse the culture and gain a deeper insight into the unique sociocultural relations within the area at the time.
Birmingham was in the process of clearing the area of its many slums, which transformed the streets and provided an intriguing canvas for a budding photographer. Mendelsohn’s photographs document a working class district in flux. Capturing individuals at pubs, cafes and in bustling outdoor scenes, the intimate portraits make for a heartwarming and humbling insight into the supportive, working class relations of 1960’s Birmingham.
Wed 27 Jan – Sat 2 Apr, Ikon Gallery kon Gallery, 1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, Birmingham, B1 2HS, Tel: 0121 248 0708 Tue – Sun 11am-5pm, FREE, www.ikon-gallery.org
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Published on: Sat 26 Mar 2016