A first of its kind in the county, for the Our Lens on Life project, we partnered with The Royal Photographic Society (RPS), to deliver photography training to our customers.
The photographers, many of whom had been previously rough sleeping, captured images in the Tunbridge Wells district after receiving training from the RPS, using just a £20 disposable camera.
They recorded their experiences over the summer of 2021 and the results have been amazing – from a tranquil lake, sunlight streaming through the trees, or a grinning dog, they are a delight to view.
The images will be displayed in a special exhibition at Royal Victoria Place, Tunbridge Wells, from October 7-28 – please visit to experience the art first-hand. There will be a small launch reception on October 7 from 4 – 6 pm with refreshments and opportunities to speak with the artists. A commemorative zine packed full of photographs has been produced, telling the story of how the exhibition came to life, please see here.
Chris, who took part in the project, said: “I like taking photographs because it makes you look at things in a different way and a photo is a moment in time that you can’t get back.
When I was sleeping rough I lived in fear of getting hurt but now I feel safe and able to move on and do other things, which is why I loved taking part in the photography project.”
At Look Ahead, we deliver homelessness services in west Kent on behalf of Kent County Council and Donna Pearson, Head of Operations in Kent said: “Look Ahead is so proud to be able to showcase the amazing photographs taken by people living in our services, who have been among those hit hardest by the pandemic. Despite the many challenges they face in life, they have embraced the project with open arms and the results speak for themselves.”
She added: “Too often photographers take pictures of people experiencing homelessness, but Our Lens on Life is about turning the camera around and letting people tell their own story. It’s a celebration of creativity and a life-affirming exhibition. We are very thankful to receive support from Royal Victoria Place and British Land to enable us to stage this important exhibition.”
Without the photographers, this project would not exist. Thank you to our customers – Antony, Christopher, Jay, Jayde, Lewis, Marnie, Sean and Stephen – for sharing their skills and talents with us through their photographs.
If you are interested in hearing more about our work in Kent you can learn more here. Or if you are interested in partnering or donating to other upcoming projects, please speak to Eva Zeeb, Head of Partnerships.