Sophie Dishman

Review: Look and Inspire

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Look and Inspire is a pin hole photography exhibition based in the Open Gallery at the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.

It is being presented by The Art Studio Sunderland and shows the changing city of Sunderland.

The images were created by residents of Sunderland using cameras they had built themselves from recycled materials.

Jo Howell is the project’s lead artist, she takes us back in time through the use of black and white photography.

It provides us with a new way of looking at the city and helps residents and the transient population alike appreciate where we live, study and work.

Landmarks featured in the exhibition include Wearmouth Bridge, the Winter Gardens, Old Donnison School and Holy Trinity Church in the East End.

The heritage and culture of Sunderland is being celebrated in this exhibition.

The project is tucked away on the second floor of the museum in a small space. The photographs hang on the wall for us to see.

In my opinion, the small space gives us a chance to get “up close and personal” with the exhibition.

We can also see and touch some of the cameras that were used to create the photographs adding a touch of realism to the project.

We can’t always handle parts of an exhibition but for this project we can. It gives a nice touch and it feels as though you can touch the history in the photographs.

The exhibition is a powerful piece of work as it is engaging people to get involved with the city of Sunderland after they’ve viewed it.

If you are left inspired by the project – which is what the exhibition name suggests then there are instructions on how to make your own pin hole camera at home.

The exhibition can be viewed until January 24 in the Open Gallery at the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.

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