L8 Unseen, a new exhibition of photography and filmed interviews exploring the communities living in Liverpool 8, opened at the Museum of Liverpool on Friday 3 April and runs until Sunday 6 September 2015.
The exhibition reveals the stories and experiences of a diverse range of people from the Liverpool 8 community. It aims to uncover the spirit and heritage of the area through filmed interviews and striking large-scale photographs taken by photographer and visual artist, Othello De’Souza-Hartley.
With at least 54 nationalities living in the area, the community has come to be known simply by its postcode, ‘L8’, which has often been used as shorthand for ‘riots and inner-city deprivation’. The exhibition challenges those preconceptions, revealing hidden stories from the people who live, work, or have a passion for the area. It features young local entrepreneurs, successful businesswomen, faith leaders, international sports champions, world-leading musicians, Muslims, Jews, Orthodox Christians, Catholics, Protestants, teenagers, octogenarians, some of whom have never dared to talk about their stories before, but all share a passion for their community.
Part-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, L8 Unseen features images of individuals and groups set in significant locations which reflect the city’s history of global trade, including slavery. These portraits are 21st century representations of race, culture and identity against a foundation of 300 years of immigration and settlement.
Othello De'Souza-Hartley is a London-based visual artist working with photography and film. Inspired by the mood and psychological themes of classical painting, his unique approach to composition, light and gaze combines to unveil the inner workings of his subject.
De'Souza-Hartley's aesthetic is enriched by paradox, injecting dynamism into static imagery and inviting the viewer to question the condition of his characters. Past photographic projects have sought to unmask the construction of masculinity in the 21st century, the ethereal haze of dreams and the inimitable nature of sartorial self-expression. Recent films bridge the relationship between photography and the moving image, while maintaining the flow of the avant-garde.
The artist has received commissions from a range of institutions including the Museum of Liverpool, the National Portrait Gallery, The Photographers’ Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum. He has had solo shows at the Camden Arts Centre and The Underground Gallery, and featured in group shows at the Gasworks Gallery and the APT gallery London.
His photographic work has appeared in a variety of publications including, Hunger Magazine, Le Journal De La Photographie, Trace Magazine, Neo 2, Monitor Magazine, The Guardian, Clam Magazine, and Amica Magazine. In addition, Othello is a visiting lecturer at Ravensbourne, on lens based media and fashion communication.
De'Souza-Hartley was awarded an MA in Fine Art from Camberwell College of Art and previously studied photography at Central St Martins. For more information about Othello visit this page.