New photographic exhibition highlights gap ‘twixt rich and poor

The consequences of the stark gap between rich and poor in society is explored in a provocative new photographic exhibition entitled ‘The A41 Project – visualising inequality’ opening at The Public on 27 February 2013. 

The exhibition by photographer and visual artist Colin McPherson draws its inspiration from the A41 trunk road, which runs from London to Birkenhead via the West Midlands, including West Bromwich, passing through some of the most wealthy and deprived areas of England alike.

The photographs have been created with contributions by groups of local people living on or near the A41 in the West Midlands, Merseyside, Milton Keynes and London. 

A41 Project - Visualising Inequality by Colin McPherson A41 Project - Visualising Inequality by Colin McPherson A41 Project - Visualising Inequality by Colin McPhersonColin said: “Working on this project in tandem with The Equality Trust has allowed me to explore using my photography one of the most important social and political phenomenons of today, namely the consequences of inequality and its legacy on society in this country. The images I have created are ‘social landscapes,’ photographs which simultaneously try to show the effects of our actions while at the same time asking questions about the reasons behind why inequality exists. In this context, I have used the A41 as a metaphor to explore the issues.”

Prof Kate Pickett from The Equality Trust said: “The evidence that inequality damages society is overwhelming. It affects many aspects of life including physical and mental health, children’s well-being and rates of violent crime. We hope that the A41 Project will provoke debate and help advance the movement for a more equal society.”

Chris Burgess from the Birmingham group of local photographers said: “Working on the project has further opened my eyes to the impact of income inequality. Thinking about how the income gap undermines trust, health, social cohesion, you realise that its affects are visible all around us.”

The A41 Project is part of Black Country Legends – a series of exhibitions celebrating the charm, quirkiness and characters of the region.  Highlights include photography by Dudley born Turner Prize nominee Richard Billingham, a short film about mysterious local artist, AJW, and a new Black Country themed computer game by LearnPlay Foundation.

For more information about exhibitions at The Public visit or call 0121 533 7161.