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Vicky Arthurs by Beth Cutting

Young photographers picture the poet

Poet Vicky Arthurs at Sunderland Winter Gardens, photographed by Beth Cutting.

Young photographers from Sunderland will have their work displayed alongside photographic portraits of well-known poets from the National Portrait Gallery’s collection. Guided by documentary photographer Louise Taylor, seven students from Southmoor Academy worked with local writers to capture their portraits in locations around Sunderland.

An exhibition of their work, North East Poets: Image and Inspiration, will be on display in the Open Space Gallery at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, alongside the National Portrait Gallery’s touring exhibition Picture the Poet.

Jennie Lambert, Learning Officer at Sunderland Museums & Heritage Service, said: “The photography project has enabled the young people to develop their skills in interpreting the wishes of their clients — in this case the poets — to produce insightful and imaginative photographic portraits. A live project like this, where students work to a brief, gives valuable real world experience that will help the young people in their future education and careers. Many of the poets got involved for exactly this reason, which is great.

Picture the Poet is a national initiative run by the National Portrait Gallery in association with the National Literacy Trust, Apples and Snakes, and regional museums. The main exhibition features over 50 portraits of British poets by professional photographers. Famous faces include Benjamin Zephaniah, Roger McGough, Andrew Motion, Carol Ann Duffy, Michael Rosen and Ian McMillan.

Picture the Poet runs from Saturday 19 September – Sunday 29 November 2015 at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens.

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