The World in London is a major public art project to coincide with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The project brings together 204 specially commissioned photographic portraits of 204 Londoners, each originating from one of the nations competing at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The 204 portraits will be exhibited as large-scale posters in Victoria Park in East London, and in the Ramillies Street pedestrian zone opposite The Photographers’ Gallery in the heart of Soho.
A project initiated by The Photographers’ Gallery, The World in London explores portraiture and cultural diversity through photography
and celebrates London as a place where individuals from around the world live side by side. Emerging photographers will be shown alongside leading national and international artists, such as Martin Parr and Rankin. Says Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery:
As London’s premier institution for photography, we are proud to have initiated a project that engages with the cultural diversity of London at the same time as celebrating photography as one of the most powerful visual mediums of the 21st century. Commissioning such a variety of photographers has offered us an unrivalled opportunity to highlight the creative potential of the portrait genre.
Involving Londoners of all ages and from all walks of life, each portrait is unique in composition, setting and style, offering viewers an insight into the individual’s story and experience. For example, Mongolian born Laka is portrayed at his workplace, the kitchen of a pub, surrounded by freshly cleaned pots and pans. Lord Paul Swaraj, who was born in India, is photographed at the London Children’s Zoo, a place he has helped to support for years.
All of the photographers have been commissioned by The Photographers’ Gallery to take portrait shots of the sitters over the last three years. The image for Great Britain is a portrait of the late Alexander McQueen, the fashion designer legend who was photographed by American born photographer Andres Serrano in February 2009.
The hunt is still on to find the final six sitters for this massive project. The Photographers’ Gallery is looking for Londoners from the following countries to take part: American Samoa, FS Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Paulu.
Photography © 2010 Courtesy The Photographers’ Gallery, London
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