10th October -22nd October 2021 Blank_ Space Gallery
Private View: Thursday 14th October 2021 6-8.30
St Georges Crypt celebrates their 90th Anniversary on the 14th October 2021 The Blank_ Space Gallery Leeds will host an exhibition of black and white photographs taken during the summer of 1968 by photographer Peter Lavery.
In 1968 whilst still a student at Leeds College of Art, Peter Lavery went out with his camera and recorded the homeless people who relied upon St Georges Crypt for food and shelter. These nightly excursions resulted in some socially relevant images which have never been printed or published. They lay forgotten, in storage for over fifty years, until unearthed by Lavery during lockdown. Upon their discovery, Lavery spoke with Andrew Omond of St Georges Crypt and discovered that 2021 was the 90th anniversary of the shelter. Lavery decided to help by organising an exhibition of black and white photographs.
St Georges Crypt has been supporting homeless and vulnerable adults in Leeds since 1930. They have developed a service that supports people from the street back to independence; from chaos to citizenship.
They work with people in alcohol dependancy, with addition issues as well as mental and physical health needs. They work with partners across Leeds to support their clients to establish strong, positive foundations, develop live skills and ultimately move into safe and thriving communities.
They have come a long way since Peter Lavery first visited the crypt beneath St. George’s church in the summer of 1968.
Note to Editors:
Peter Lavery was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire in 1948.
He studied photography at Liverpool and then Leeds college of Art and in 1972 was awarded an MA from The Royal College of Art. He taught special projects and alternative processes at The RCA and London College of Printing; making the first platinum print in Britain since the 1930’s. He has won major British and International awards as a photographer, both for his editorial and commercial work, which included campaigns for leading consumer brands worldwide.
Since 1975 Lavery’s work has appeared in the colour supplements of The Times, The Telegraph and Observer and in Vogue, Tatler, World of Interiors and many others.
In 1997 his circus images were exhibited at The Royal Photographical Society together with a book entitled Peter Lavery: Circus Work with a forward written by The Sunday Times Magazine’s former picture editor Bruce Bernard.
In 1998 a project in the Amazon rain forest took Lavery to the remote Yawalapiti tribe of the Upper Xingu River in Brazil. Some of these photographs appear in Lavery’s second book Of Humankind, with a forward by Robin Muir, published in 2000. It is a diverse gallery of portraits taken of people Lavery has met on his travels. Among his sitters were Japanese geisha and Australian Ringers, New Guinea warriors and Masai herdsmen. Begun in 1987, the project is an ongoing anthropological study.
2018 was the 250th anniversary of the first circus ever, invented by Philip Astley in Vauxhall- To celebrate Lavery produced Circus Work 1968-2018 the work was also exhibited as a touring show over the UK and France.
During his three years at Leeds, Lavery started two projects: ‘Circus Work’ which began at the Queen’s Hall in 1968 and lasted 50 years, only being completed in 2018. The other project, this one of St Georges Crypt, Lavery shot during the summer of 1968, in only two weeks, using just four rolls of film.
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