Our Street Gallery: Through Our Lens — Impressions Gallery

Our Street Gallery:
Through Our Lens

Powerful photography project capturing life for Bradford teens in lockdown

Our Street Gallery is a powerful photography project depicting the experiences of Bradford teenagers during lockdown. This new 12-month district-wide cultural project will transform the city’s streets into a canvas of images capturing moments and feelings of the people of the Bradford district.

From 16 July, more than 50 stunning photographs taken by 13 to 18-year olds in isolation for the Through Our Lens project – led by award-winning photographer Carolyn Mendelsohn – will illustrate billboards, sides of houses, pavements, lamp posts, windows and school railings across the district.  

Through Our Lens is the first ‘episode’ of the street gallery project, with further episodes curated by the street gallery steering group over the next year. Our Street Gallery brings to life the incredible work created thanks to Bradford Council’s RESPONSE grants.

Shipley-based photographer Carolyn came up with idea for the project at the beginning of lockdown and following an initial call out on social media and collaboration with Bradford College, Carolyn has now mentored more than 40 young people across the Bradford district in photography using Zoom and running workshop sessions every week. The resulting images posted on the project’s Instagram page as well as on a week-long takeover on Impressions Gallery’s Instagram page.

The teenagers represent a spectrum of socio-economic groups, including a number of refugees who moved to the district just six months ago only to be plunged straight into isolation as the pandemic took hold. The documentary style images offer a glimpse into teenage life in lockdown; some have focused on expressive self-portraits while others have photographed their families, bedrooms and outdoor surroundings when taking their daily exercise.

Impressions Director, Anne McNeill says, “Carolyn has used her skills to help isolated teens make their thoughts, feelings and experiences visible. She’s ignited a passion for photography in them that will grow going forward and has given us the photographers of the future.”

Our Street Gallery is supported by Bradford Council; Impressions Gallery; Bradford 2025 and Bradford-based design studios Lee Goater and Split Design. 

Our Street Gallery: Through Our Lens — Impressions Gallery
Inside and out, Hamza Saraj, age 14
Our Street Gallery: Through Our Lens — Impressions Gallery
Flowers in Ice, Amilah Majid, age 14
Our Street Gallery: Through Our Lens — Impressions Gallery
Streets and roads are empty, Amy Lorrimer, age 15
Our Street Gallery: Through Our Lens — Impressions Gallery
Self-portrait, Harry Berry, age 16
Our Street Gallery: Through Our Lens — Impressions Gallery
Self-portrait, Jay Kundu, age 12
Our Street Gallery: Through Our Lens — Impressions Gallery
Words from the Heart, Esme Duckworth, age 13
Our Street Gallery: Through Our Lens — Impressions Gallery
Photographer Jay Kundu with his image on a billboard in Shipley.
Our Street Gallery: Through Our Lens — Impressions Gallery
Photographer Abdi Shakur with his image on a billboard in Shipley.
Our Street Gallery: Through Our Lens — Impressions Gallery
Photographers (L_R) Amilah Majid, Esme Duckworth, Abdi Shakur, Amy Lorrimer, Jay Kundu, Hamza Saraj, Morgan Foord and project leader Carolyn Mendelsohn, with their images on billboards in Shipley.