We are Northampton.
Northampton is a town in England’s East Midlands region. The town was/is known for its shoe industry. The ‘We are Northampton’ commission celebrates the town’s rich heritage through a sense of identity and place. The dynamics of industrial sectors in our towns and cities contribute hugely in our sense of self. This work explores personal, cultural and civic identity. Civic identity is a particularly important factor in civic engagement and participation. The existence of the shoe factories weaves the Northampton community together but there’s more to this place than just shoes.
International photographer Paul O’Leary was commissioned to create a series of portraits of people who live in or are associated with Northampton. The project was not just about the iconic faces or well-known characters, the exhibition objective is to represent the everyday folk who contribute to the town on a daily basis.
Photography is one of the greatest mediums to enable people to make sense of themselves and their environment. The work seeks to conjure up the presence of people who live and work in this town whilst at the same time recording an active fragment of Northampton’s history.