A brand new gallery celebrating the work of British photographers is set to open at the end of January in central London. The Centre for British Photography will be located on Jermyn Street in Mayfair, and split across three stories, with 8000 sq ft of gallery space. Continuing the long tradition of London galleries and museums, it will be free to the public year-round.
The Centre for British Photography will continue the work of the renowned art dealer James Hyman and the Hyman Foundation. The Hyman Foundation charity was established in 2020 to promote and support photography from all across Britain through funding research and scholarships, exhibiting a diverse range of artists, and preserving photography archives for future generations.
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The gallery will showcase work from 1900 through to the present day, with a focus on works created by artists living and working in the UK. The gallery will feature different exhibits celebrating the diverse cultural viewpoints the UK has to offer, both from those born in Britain and those artists who have moved to make the UK their home.
There will be two group opening exhibitions. The first exhibition, entitled Headstrong, is a collection co-curated by the campaign group Fast Forward: Women in Photography, and is a collection of self-portraits by female artists exploring a range of contemporary issues.
The second exhibit – The English at Home, gathers over 150 photographs that provide an overview of British domestic home life throughout the twentieth century. Artists involved include Bill Brandt, Kurt Hutton, Bert Hardy, Martin Parr, Daniel Meadows, Karen Knorr, Anna Fox, and Richard Billingham.
There will also be four 'In Focus' exhibits spotlighting one individual artist. Wish You Were Here by Heather Agyepong features early twentieth-century postcard imagery reflecting the dance craze in Europe – The Cakewalk. Natasha Caruana's work Fairytale for Sale, explores the diverse wedding customs in the UK. Fairytales and Photography explores the way that fairytales have influenced Jo Spence's images. Finally, Spitting by Andrew Bruce and Anna Fox presents images from the original run of the hit TV show Spitting Image.
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Not only featuring exhibits, but The Centre for British Photography will also host events and talks on photography from leading British artists. The gallery will also contain an archive, a library, and a shop, with all profits going back into the charity foundation.
There is no denying that the UK has always been one of the best destinations for culture and art, and this is another very welcome addition to London's already burgeoning photography gallery scene, joining the V&A Photography Centre and The Photographers' Gallery, as well as special photography exhibitions such as Queer Britain.
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