Newington Hardman. Image credit: Keith W. Roberts.

An exhibition at Liverpool Central Library, Hornby Rooms, 15 December 2015 – 29 January 2016

Edward Chambré-Hardman (1898-1988) was a Liverpool photographer, best known for his portrayals of landscapes and cityscapes. This exhibition focused upon the commercial portraiture that can be found in Hardman’s archive which is housed at Liverpool Central Library.

Research for this project began with the digitisation of eleven studio registers detailing Hardman’s sitters from 1923 to 1963. The registers contain the names and titles of Hardman’s clients, many of whom were Liverpool servicemen and women that he photographed during 1939-1945, at his studio on Bold Street.  The process of digitising the studio registers was an opportunity to search the archive in a unique way, thus enabling chronological portraits of individual sitters to be found within the 120,000 large format negatives stored in the collection.  The exhibition presents individual sitters as portrait pairings seen for the first time together, having previously been separated for the past seventy years in the storage tins within the archive.. The title of the exhibition, ‘Intermission’, relates to this gap in time that exists between each portrait.

The public presentation of the paired portraits has shifted their status from being anonymous and hidden items within the archive, to being named and on public display. There is also a shift away from the original functions of these portraits which was initially of a commercial nature for Hardman and a personal or private nature for his client.  For the purposes of the exhibition they became material for public display.

Reviews and associated articles about the exhibition can be found here:

I also showed my work  at the Liverpool Biennial Fringe opening event in July 2016.  This consisted of back-projected portraits onto the windows above Matta’s International Foods shop on Bold Street in Liverpool, which was where Hardman’s original studio was based between 1923-1949 and subsequently where many of these portraits would have been taken.

Lastly, a project to install eighty large-scale portraits in Liverpool City Centre (Newington) for one year has been proposed and is still awaiting approval.  This is due for installation in November 2016.

As featured in the Manchester School of Art, Research Degree Programme Newsletter Autumn 2016