From the 5th of August ’til the 15th, a mixed exhibition of photography and stencil work will be on display in Leicester’s Highcross shopping centre.

The photography portion of this exhibit, Luv Leicester, is based around what residents think is great about the city. This is a project that has been led by myself and Abby Smith; who participated in the running of last year’s Unrestricted exhibition. It consists of photography by a mix-bag of young people; both from Soft Touch’s STart group, and from Park Lodge hostel. As well as the young people’s work, there is going to be a photo booth and a wall of portraits. Here, visitors of the exhibition can be photographed; with a sign, to express why they love Leicester. The portraits will then be projected or printed onto a wall for the rest of the exhibition. Participants in our portrait wall can buy prints of their portraits if they desire.

The second half of the exhibition, The Unusual, is a series of stencilled self portraits by Soft Touch’s STart group. The self portraits went through a myriad of stages; from original photographs, through photoshop and planning of the stencil layouts, to all the layers it took to colour them as envisioned. Each piece has its own flavour in either the background or in the character itself. Abby, for example, turned herself into a lego pimp. This project shows off some of the skills and souls of Leicester’s young people.

This exhibit is a great opportunity for all involved; as most of the young people have not exhibited before, and many haven’t earned money before. All of the work by young people is for sale; with the proceeds going directly to the young artists who created it. Selling a piece that you’ve created is a fantastic feeling and confidence boost, especially to those who never considered it possible. For Abby and me; this experience has been a gateway into multiple exhibitions and sold pieces of work, and now the leading & curating of our own.

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You can find some of my photography for Luv Leicester down below.