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CAN09: Identity in photography
Image: Darwin and the Same Emotions by Carl Jaycock.
Photography exhibition Photo-ID looks at people's perceptions of identity

Photographers and scientists explored identity in the thought-provoking exhibition Photo-ID in Norwich, as part of Contemporary Art Norwich 2009.

The photographs on display showed how people's appearances create personal and social categorisation.

"Photo-ID looked at how we construct a mental image of ourselves," said Keith Roberts, vice-chairman of the Norfolk Contemporary Art Society.

The exhibition ran at The Forum from Saturday, 1 - 29 August, 2009.

It featured the work of 10 specially commissioned photographers from around the globe, including Norfolk-based landscape photographer Mark Edwards.

Image: Untitled by Paul Sucksmith.
Paul Sucksmith shows the dark side of Newcastle's nightlife

Mark's work looked at how our landscape is not only shaped by us, but helps to shape us and our identities.

Other photographers exhibiting included Åsa Johannesson, who explored the significance of photos from her childhood and the impact of gender in people's observations.

Paul Sucksmith, a Newcastle-based photographer, captured the intoxicated nightlife in the North East of England and displayed an interesting and dark twist in his shots.

Carl Jaycock provided a highlight of the exhibition, as he showed a striking contrast between digital imagery and print.

In the photograph Darwin and the Same Emotions, he used passport photos of himself, morphed with a variety of other faces and arranged to create a larger image incorporating the Union Jack and the bearded Darwin.

The entire photography exhibition was created for the Norfolk Contemporary Arts Society by former UEA academic Keith Roberts, also a science author, with £130,000 sponsorship from the Wellcome Foundation.


Issues being pondered over in the exhibition included the ways in which the Human Genome Project and more than 100 years of photography change our perceptions.

Image: Joanna Kane  Untitled Time Composite
The images are created by photographers and scientists

"Photo-ID explores the different components from which we formulate the idea of who we are; from faith and ethnicity to our mental state and our relationships, or even fingerprints and DNA profiles," said Keith, prior to the event.

"I'm sure that the exhibition and the activities surrounding it will offer some intriguing insight into people's perceptions and those of others," he added.

To complement the exhibition, BBC Voices ran a project inviting members of the public to bring along visual images which they felt epitomised their own identity.

These images were displayed in Fusion at The Forum, Norwich, offering a chance for Norfolk people to explore how others from the area perceive themselves.

"We all make judgements about people from the way they look, but the truth of the person may be far from what we believe it to be. This is everyone's chance to show their face and their feelings, a chance to challenge perceptions and tell a different story," said Gary Standley, producer of BBC Voices, prior to the event.

Photo-ID, part of Contemporary Art Norwich 2009, took place at The Forum, Norwich, from Saturday, 1 - 29 August, 2009.

See photographs from the Photo-ID exhibition.

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