CHARLOTTE GRIFFITHS SHE DEBUTS HER NEW EXHIBITION
Portsmouth Cathedral are working with local photographer Charlotte Griffiths as she debuts her new exhibition, inspired by the global Black Lives Matter movement. The exhibition is open daily from 17th August through to 16th September at the Cathedral in Old Portsmouth.
Charlotte’s journey to this project started several years ago, but it was last year, in the wake of George Floyd’s death, that she realised she had a bigger part to play in the Black Lives Matter movement. Charlotte grew up in a predominately white area outside Portsmouth, being only one of a handful of black children at her school. She still remembers the harm and distress which racist comments can cause: “No matter how slight the comment may be,” she says, “or whether it was part of ‘banter,’ it is not acceptable on any level.” More recently, Charlotte’s experiences of racism directed at her young daughter, have given her the drive to celebrate black lives, especially those of women and young people.
…Charlotte’s experiences of racism directed at her young daughter, have given her the drive to celebrate black lives, especially those of women and young people…
…exhibition combines Charlotte’s expert portrait photography, alongside the stories and experiences of black women and children in Portsmouth…
After participating in one of the many acts of solidarity around the country last June, Charlotte saw the self-esteem her daughter and many other young black and brown people felt as they came together to be heard. Charlotte describes the pride she in turn felt in her daughter after attending, “At the end of the march, I was so proud. We sat and listened to people’s harrowing and heart wrenching stories that were upsetting beyond belief, and my daughter could not understand how people could act in such a way because of the colour of their skin.”
The exhibition combines Charlotte’s expert portrait photography, alongside the stories and experiences of black women and children in Portsmouth. A series of 10 portraits line the Nave of Portsmouth Cathedral, bringing together the struggles, triumphs, pain, and happiness experienced by those involved.
“I realised that I needed to do something myself,” she says. “As a photographer, I felt this would be the perfect medium to capture the raw emotion of the many participants involved”. Charlotte hopes the exhibition will help people understand the challenges many black people experience on a daily basis, commenting: “Racism is not new, it has always been there and will be until we continue to educate and unite”.
Kathryn Percival, Canon Chancellor and Vice Dean of Portsmouth Cathedral says, “We are delighted to be working with Charlotte and displaying her powerful and beautiful photographs of black women and girls from Portsmouth. She has a great gift for capturing, in a fleeting moment, the inner life and personality of each of her subjects, and this exhibition provides a special opportunity for us to hear and be challenged by what both their images and their stories are saying to the world.”
Charlotte’s work will be available to view at the Cathedral from the 17th August, until 16th September. The Cathedral is open daily from 10am, and 12:45pm on Sundays – free admission though a donation is greatly appreciated. Find out more about the exhibition at portsmouthcathedral.org.uk
…As a photographer, I felt this would be the perfect medium to capture the raw emotion of the many participants involved…