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Craig Easton: Is Anybody Listening? is an exciting, new touring exhibition, presented by the University of Salford Art Collection. Bringing together two award-winning series of work from the University of Salford Alumnus, the exhibition seeks to challenge typical stereotypes of northern communities through authentic representation.
Easton won Photographer of the Year (2021) at the Sony World Photography Awards with his series Bank Top, a collaboration with writer, poet and social researcher Abdul Aziz Hafiz, examining the representation and misrepresentation of northern communities. Commissioned by Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery, the work focused on a small, tight-knit community in Blackburn.
He also took second place in the documentary category for Thatcher’s Children, which explores the inter-generational nature of poverty and economic hardship as experienced by three generations of one family across the North West.
Easton often tackles stereotypes and responds to the negative way in which the mainstream media can portray Northern communities. The relevance of Easton’s work has resurfaced in a new light as communities endure the cost-of-living crisis and face new challenges and segregation.
In addition to the tour and engagement programme the funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund will also enable key pieces of his work to enter the University of Salford Art Collection, as a permanent legacy of the project.
The exhibition comes at the same time as the launch of Easton’s new book centred on his award-winning Thatcher’s Children series. Quotes from successive prime ministers demonstrate how deprivation is connected to the social policy failures of successive governments.