Picture the Family
Where we hang out. Who is important to us. Our mates.

Picture the Family is an exhibition featuring photographs created by eight young people who took part in a six-day project, with photographer Andrew Fleming at Banbury Youth Centre, exploring the concept of the “family” in modern society and redefining what it means to them personally. 

Often the ideal of “the family” is so far from the reality we actually experience.  For some it is a positive experience.  For others it is the opposite.  Andrew Fleming was keen to explore with the young artists how family of any type and environment defines who they are, and how others perceive them.  The participants were given the freedom to lead the direction of the project and issues of personal identity and the importance of a sense of place, familiarity and belonging emerged strongly.  At first glance, their photographs seem to have an absence of family members, but if you look closely there are bonds of friendship, care and shared interests between people, inherent to the concept of “family”. As two of the participants commented:

Not like mum and dad type families but who’s close to us. Our mates, where we hang out, where we have experiences. Gareth, age 16

I think it was important to say ‘this is me’ Martin, age 16

The exhibition is part of the Oxfordshire Reflections project, and is organised in partnership with Modern Art Oxford and co-ordinated by Clair Aldington.  The project consultant, Susan Bright, has recently curated the highly acclaimed exhibition at Tate Britain, How We Are: Photographing Britain

All of the young people who took part in ‘Picture the family’ are regular participants in the MAPRO (Multi Arts Programme Reaching Out) a special project based at Banbury Youth Centre, which engages young people in a community setting and encourages personal development and progression through the arts. OVADA and Modern Art Oxford would like to thank Selma, Ben and Polly at MAP and the youth workers at Banbury Youth Centre for their support in this project.