The National Theatre today announces a new exhibition, Look At You Now, featuring photo portraits by young people of 53 people who are connected with the NT including actors Julie Walters and Lenny Henry, director Indhu Rubasingham and lighting designer Paule Constable.
Young people mentored by some of the UK’s leading professional photographers used iPhones to recapture a childhood photo of each of the sitters. This exhibition presents the original inspirational image alongside the new portrait in pairs throughout the building, presenting a unique visual living history charting where people start, and what they have gone on to achieve. A free exhibition guide detailing all 53 portrait pairs can be picked up from the Lyttelton Lounge and throughout the building.
People featured in the exhibition come from a cross section of careers across the creative industries from actors to costume designers, playwrights to sound technicians. They all spent time with the young people talking about their work in theatre and the path their lives took since the original photograph was taken.
Speaking about the project Rufus Norris, Director of the NT said: “Creativity can come from anywhere and everywhere and it is really crucial that all of the arts, theatre included, are populated by people that come from every corner of this country as the broader the mix, the richer the art that will come from it. What I really love about this exhibition is how it truly highlights how creativity really is in everyone and I hope this inspires our next generation to think about exploring careers in the creative industries.”
The young people who took part in the project came from neighbouring schools and colleges and have gained skills in portrait composition, identifying shoot locations and photographic lighting through working with their mentors.
One of the mentors who worked with the young photographers was Mary McCartney who said, “This exhibition showcases the unique talent that surrounds the National Theatre and reflects the passion and artistic creativity that keeps it at the forefront of British theatre. Mentoring my budding photographer at the NT was all I wanted it to be and I hope they have been inspired through taking part in the project.”
The story of the exhibition is told in the Lyttelton Lounge including a short film featuring a number of people featured in exhibition.
The NT will be inviting people in creative careers to upload their own portrait pair to Instragram and Twitter throughout the run of the exhibition, using #LookAtYouNow