Multistory has commissioned photographer Michelle Sank to document the diversity of young people and their lives in the Black Country. Michelle has made a collection of photographic portraits of people aged 15 to 18 that will explore what it is to be young today, which will be launched on 8 November 2018 as the book My.Self, at Sandwell College. See our event page for more details.
I am interested in how adolescence is marked by rites of passage that are reflective of cultural values and how this is expressed within ethnically diverse communities in the Black Country. I am exploring the way these rituals often mark a socially recognized transition to adulthood and responsibility and to some recognition of sexual maturity. I will document how these rites of passage can differ from male to female and how the emphasis on body image, performance and dress are a personal means of expression.
Linked to the above is my interest in current gender issues that are becoming more prominent amongst young people and I will additionally explore this as part of the project within these communities.
Michelle Sank, April 2017
Michelle started working with us early in 2016 and the project will be realised towards the end of 2017 / 2018. Keep checking our website and social media for the latest updates.
The project is a partnership project with Multistory and Creative Black Country (as part of the Arts Council of England’s Creative People and Places Programme).
Read an article about the project in British Journal of Photography here.
Michelle Sank was born in South Africa and has been living in the UK since 1987. Her photographs have been exhibited and published extensively in England, Europe, Australia and Mexico, South Africa and the U.S.A and are held in collections in the UK, Channel Islands and the USA.
She has undertaken numerous commissions for prominent galleries and magazines in Europe and the USA and her work has won awards in many prestigious competitions including the National Portrait Gallery and the British Journal of Photography.