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PortraitsThis will be an evolving exhibition that will provide photographic examples of different themes that pertain to the characteristics of a group of people normally sharing distinctive characteristics. The examples are mainly from the 19th century but more recent examples are included where appropriate.
Ethnicity and the concept of "race" is complex and difficult to separate cleanly from our contemporary perspectives and biases. It involves romanticism, a longing for what is lost, changing attitudes to poverty and wealth and there is the distinct danger of defining culture according to material rather than spiritual attributes. The subtle interplays between cultures become visible through in this exhibition.
It will be the first time that most of these images have been viewed by visitors and few of the images are by well known photographers. Any selection of images is subjective but the key point is to provide examples that can encourage discussion, awareness and question our own values.
Alan Griffiths (October 2006)