How Did We Get Here? Chester Visual Arts

Composed of two parts; ‘How did we get here?’ showcases various photographic and video works spanning the past 15 years of my career including We English, Pierdom, Merrie Albion and the Brexit Lexicon. It explores issues around identity, belonging and the complex relationship between history, place, and culture. The second part, ‘Where do we go now?’ allows visitors to participate in a series of workshops and open sessions where people are given a unique opportunity to respond creatively to the current social climate, culminating in a new artwork piece (The Public Gallery), that will develop over the course of the exhibition. The new piece will be unveiled in the storefront window in the last week of the exhibition.

Running from 20th May to 30th June, the FREE to enter exhibition will be held every Wednesday-Sunday from 11am-5pm at the previous H&M store within Grosvenor Shopping Centre in Chester, in a newly remodelled space that offers an immersive environment in the heart of the city.

My photograph and video works, which are displayed over both floors of the former H&M store, offer a commentary on the social and political issues that we face in our daily lives, questioning the choices that have led us to where we are today. Together, the two elements of the exhibition will act as a catalyst for open discussion about the function of the British High Street as the future use of urban spaces are increasingly debated. The work touches on prevalent and contentious issues, from exposing our post-imperial predicament, the complications of New Commonwealth immigration, the Brexit schism, to the possibilities of UK devolution and the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

We have arranged an extensive public programme collaborating with local schools, Universities and community groups. Workshops are being led by local volunteers and are also working with Redeye, Photoworks and collage artist, Mark Murphy. Some of the public workshops available to the general public are:

Zine / poster workshop in response to the Simon Roberts exhibition
9 & 11 June


Redeye – the Photography Network – workshops for Degree and A’level student
15 June


Collage workshop with Mark Murphy
18 June


The exhibition was commissioned by Chester Visual Arts and funded by Arts Council England.

You can download a pdf with more information about the exhibition here.