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Impressions Gallery

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Impressions on tour: Hidden at Winchester Discovery Centre

Sat, 25th Jan, 2014

One of Impressions' most popular exhibitions in recent years is on view at Winchester Discovery Centre until 16 March 2014.

Red Saunders’ epic photographic tableaux vivants (‘living pictures’) recreate momentous but overlooked events from Britain’s struggle for democracy and equality, from the Peasants Revolt of 1381 to the Chartist movement of the mid nineteenth century.

Focusing on the contributions of ordinary men and women, rather than the monarchs and ‘Great Men’ that dominate official history, Saunders seeks to shed light on the parallel, ‘hidden history’ of revolutionaries and radicals. Meticulously detailed, atmospherically lit, and historically accurate, each scene is recreated and posed by models, providing photographic ‘evidence’ for events that occurred before the widespread adoption of camera technology.

The impressively large-scale works feature amongst others William Cuffay, a black worker and son of a slave, signing the great ‘People’s Charter’ of 1842; Mary Wollstonecraft, the author of A Vindication of the Rights of Women and precursor of modern feminism; and triumphant rebel leader Wat Tyler after his peasant army seized London in 1381.



Hidden was originally shown as part of Ways of Looking, a new photography festival in Bradford, and features three works set in the North of England, specially commissioned by Impressions Gallery and The Culture Company.

Saunders says ‘my hope is that these images can give new life to these important episodes of working people’s history’.



Red Saunders  is a professional photographer who combines his photographic practice with cultural, artistic, musical, and political activism. A former member of the 60's underground theatre group CAST, he made his name with nearly two decades of work for the ground breaking Sunday Times colour supplement, until he ended his association following the Wapping dispute of 1986-7. He was a founder member and activist with the Rock Against Racism campaign from 1976 onwards. An arson attack destroyed his studio and life work in 1994 and he did not return to photography until the end of the decade, turning instead film-making. In recent years he has focused on personal work, the Hidden project.

Click here for more information on Hidden and to watch a video of Red Saunders talking about his work.

Click here to visit the Winchester Discovery Centre website

Wat Tyler and the Peasants Revolt  Red Saunders

Wat Tyler and the Peasants Revolt Red Saunders