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HARPENDEN CHARACTERS PORTRAIT EXHIBITION - no.9 The Wildspaces Ranger - THE ERIC MORECAMBE CENTRE

FIRST COMMUNITY EXHIBITION OPENS AT HARPENDEN ARTS CENTRE


Harpenden’s newly opened culture venue - Eric Morecambe Centre (EMC) - is hosting the first in a series of community art installations in support of local artists, schools and special interest groups from mid-January 2022. Manager of the EMC, Jo Ditch, outlined her plans to use the wall space productively to encourage locals from the town and surrounding villages to visit the art hub and use the space to showcase the area's talent.


I’m thrilled that we are kicking off this initiative with an exhibition from long standing local photographer Penny Bird. Since 2016, she has worked with Harpenden residents to create photographic works that represent the unique qualities of the people living here, in her own time. She calls the series of work “To Harpenden With Love” (www.pennybird.co.uk).


Her 2020/21 project involved creating 18 portraits of a diverse range of Harpenden Characters ranging in age from 3 to 94. She has interviewed each person and prepared a brief personal perspective of their characters. A great opportunity to get to know a little more about some of the people around us.”

HARPENDEN CHARACTERS PORTRAIT EXHIBITION - no.9 The Wildspaces Ranger - THE ERIC MORECAMBE CENTRE

Rosemary Ross, from the Harpenden Local History Society, which will open Harpenden Museum on the ground floor of the EMC in the summer of 2022, said: “Penny’s project is of great interest as an example of ‘living history’ and will contribute to our collection for the future. I’m looking forward to seeing her portraits and reading about her subjects.


Penny is grateful for the opportunity to share her subjects and their stories with the community. “Everyone I approached to participate in, or support the initiative, has been wonderful. A big thank you to the people of Harpenden, particularly Ken Whittaker, Whittaker & Co, for supporting the exhibition. Joan Bartholomew is featured and I am proud that her portrait will hang next to Eric Morecambe’s portrait in the entrance of the venue. My appreciation also to Sarah Sharp from A&K Wilson Picture Framers for framing the portrait of Joan so beautifully.”


Visitors to the center are welcome to browse the portraits from 10 January to the end of April 2022.

A reception hosted by Penny Bird - entitled To Harpenden With Love - will be held on Saturday 5 March 2022 at 8pm. Booking opens on the EMC website from 1 February 2022.


https://www.pennybird.co.uk/virtual-exhibition


Contact: Penny Bird - 07903 188611

www.pennybird.co.uk/localart

pennybirdandcamera@gmail.com


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