Ean Flanders photography exhibition opens at VG&M
A new photography exhibition which pays tribute to over forty outstanding creatives, artists and activists of African and Caribbean heritage in Liverpool has opened at the University of Liverpool’s Victoria Gallery & Museum.
`The Descendants – Portraits by Ean Flanders’ features many prominent figures with links to the city including historian Ray Costello, entrepreneurs and activists Michelle Charters, Kim Johnson and Joanne Anderson, vocal coach and choir leader Jennifer John (of the famed Sense of Sound), social justice and equalities academic Dr Leona Vaughn and historian Laurence Westgaph.
The exhibition documents how the subjects have shaped and evolved their artforms as well as their lived experiences of working in and around Liverpool.
People from the African and Caribbean communities have shaped Liverpool since its early origins and have formed the UK’s oldest and longest established Black communities going back generations to the 1730s. The contemporary portraits, and the conversations that took place during the sittings, offers a new perspective on those seen as part of the Windrush Generation. They are from a community keen to show everyone who they are and how they want to be seen.
This is the first major exhibition by Ean Flanders who originates from London and is now based in south Liverpool.
He said: “Moving from London to Liverpool, I rarely saw people who looked like me in the heart of the city such as the Knowledge Quarter and the trendy Baltic area. In my first year of living in the city within the Georgian Quarter, I was racialised whilst taking pictures in the area. Despite regeneration in the 80s and 90s, barriers to equity and resources for Black and Brown communities remain.
“This exhibition is important to me to do, to be able to highlight the continued discrimination that people of African and Caribbean origin are facing in the city, one of the oldest Black Communities in Europe. I also feel Liverpool is a friendly city and one that genuinely welcomes everybody.”
Nicola Euston, Head of Museums and Galleries said “We are really excited to launch our 2023 exhibition programme with Ean’s work. His skill as a photographer is outstanding and the perspectives that he offers through his portraits should give visitors lots of things to reflect on and we hope will further help to break down barriers between communities and generations.”
In his work, Ean’s primary focus is exploring themes of social injustice and marginalisation. The racial imbalances that continue to affect people from the African Diaspora is given a platform through his social documentary portraiture.
Ean studied photography at London College of Printing, now known as the London College of Communication, and is a qualified Associate member of both the British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) and Royal Photographic Society (RPS).
`The Descendants – Portraits by Ean Flanders’ runs until Saturday, 13 May 2023
The Victoria Gallery & Museum is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am – 5pm and admission to the exhibition is free.