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Posted on 30th January, 2013

Brief review of Josh King's 'On the Street' photo exhibition

and artist talk, at Gallery150, Leamington Spa


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Josh King, after his talk at his 'On the Street' photo exhib at Gallery150, Leamington Spa, on 29th January 2013.Because it relates to what I'm doing myself at the moment, I thought I'd put in a plug for this great exhibition whilst there's still time to view it (until 10th February 2013).


Local photographer Josh King spent much of 2011 and 2012 capturing images of homeless people in Leamington Spa, and he presents an emotive selection here. There are a number of images depicting the appalling 'living' environments of homeless people, a few points of detail (such as a pair of grimy hands), and several powerful black and white in-your-face portraits. I specifically mention that the portraits are B&W, as most of the remaining images are in colour, an unusual choice I think for this subject. It's a brave project that Josh has undertaken, and it's a great achievement considering that he's in only his mid-twenties, and, has a full-time job to hold down at the same time.


Even more impressive than the pics I thought, was his presentation to accompany the exhibition. Josh is without doubt really on top of his subject, being able to talk and answer questions about the wider homeless situation in detail, rather than describing purely his images. And in support of that personal knowledge, he pulled off what I thought was an ingenious coup: he brought along 4 actual homeless people. Naturally, these individuals both personalised, and enforced more strongly than even evocative images can, the messages being conveyed: it's real people here, and most often there but for the grace of god ....


If you're one of the prejudiced and jaundiced who accuse all these people of being illegal immigrants / scroungers / parasites etc, etc, you're possibly beyond redemption. For all others however, visit this exhibition, in support of the Leamington Spa Way Ahead Project (Salvation Army), and find out the real situation. For me personally, an inspirational experience.


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