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Empathy Museum Presents Audio Installation FROM WHERE I'M STANDING

From Where I'm Standing is made up of 34 portraits, each accompanied by an audio story and a photograph of an object that reflects the time period for the individual.

Empathy Museum Presents Audio Installation FROM WHERE I'M STANDING

Empathy Museum has today announced a new photography and audio installation, in collaboration with the NHS and The Health Foundation, telling diverse stories from people around the UK as a record of life in 2020. The installation will be available online at empathymuseum.com from Thursday 10th December and the photographs will also be displayed alongside QR codes to access the audio interviews in London and then around the UK.

From Where I'm Standing is made up of 34 portraits, each accompanied by an audio story and a photograph of an object that reflects the time period for the individual. Spanning the length of the country from Truro to Harrogate, the stories include nurses and doctors, an Imam working in the Nightingale, an undertaker, a Rapper, the Director of Longterm Planning for the NHS, checkout staff and a care home entertainer who secured the job to see her dad. Intended to create a museum archive of the period - recording in real time what will become a key historical period of the 21st century, it looks at what the pandemic has to teach us about empathy as well as exploring resilience, wellbeing, interdependence and what sustains us during challenging times.

The project has four strands shot by four award-winning photographers: ten stories from frontline health, social care and public health professionals, collected in collaboration with NHS England and the Health Foundation shot by Myah Jeffers; ten from nursing and midwifery shot by Lottie Davies; seven exploring diversity of experience in lockdown such as new parents and students by Tim Mitchell; seven celebrating local heroes nominated by their community including stories from a great neighbour, a laundrette owner and the leader of the house gospel choir by Amit Lennon.

Empathy Museum create immersive projects that help audiences to look at the world through other people's eyes. Their work is built around the model of an alternative High Street, where each project takes the form of a shop where visitors are invited for a human interaction rather than a consumer experience. So far they have created a shoe shop - the award-winning A Mile in My Shoes (AMIMS) which had 50,000 visitors - and a crowd-sourced library - 1001 Books. From Where I'm Standing continues the journey along the High Street taking up residence in Brixton, where Empathy Museum is based, as an Estate Agent from 10th December. The photographs along with QR codes for audio will be installed on 'for sale' signs along Dalberg Road. There are then plans for further street installations around the UK.

Clare Patey, Empathy Museum Founder, said: "In a world rife with division and in the midst of a pandemic, listening to these storytellers, with all the wisdom, kindness and generosity of spirit that they share, has inspired me, moved me to tears at times and ultimately given me a renewed faith in humanity."

Amit Lennon specialises in intimate portraits. His work encompasses subjects as diverse as UK prison reform, coal mining in the arctic, stargazing in Chile's Atacama Desert, or remaking the FA cup. He was commissioned by the House of Commons to create a series of portraits of MPs, for their permanent collection to be displayed in the Palace of Westminster. This was the first time that the works of art committee had commissioned photography for the collection. The National Portrait Gallery purchased Amit's portrait of DJ John Peel for its permanent collection.

Lottie Davies is a BAFTA-nominated travel, editorial and fine art photographer. She has won recognition in numerous awards, including the Association of Photographers' Awards, the International Color Awards, and the Schweppes Photographic Portrait Awards. Her work garnered international acclaim with the image Quints, which won First Prize at the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Awards 2008 at the National Portrait Gallery. Her fine art work is concerned with stories and personal histories, the tales and myths we use to structure our lives: memories, life-stories, beliefs.

Myah Jeffers is a Barbadian-British documentary and portrait photographer, dramaturg and director. She is currently the Literary Associate at The Royal Court and the 2019 Portrait of Britain winner. Her work in both theatre and photography is focused on Black experiences and aims to use portraiture to illuminate Black and queer joy as acts of resistance.

Tim Mitchell is a widely published photographic artist and educator taking on commissions around the UK and abroad. He has staged major exhibitions at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Derby Museums, Horniman Museum, Photofusion, Museum of Arts and Crafts Hamburg, Cambridge Sustainability Residency and PhotoEast and has work currently touring Europe.

The project is funded by Arts Council England, NHS England and the Health Foundation.


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