After running a successful city-wide photography exhibition, which saw a range of local snappers have their work displayed across Preston last month, Garry Cook is among other creatives who have now been commissioned as part of the Preston Live festival later this month.
The Preston Live Arts Festival, which is set to run from June 21 to 30, is celebrating a range of creatives from musicians to photographers and dancers in displays and events across the city.
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As part of his exhibition, Garry is hoping to use the boarded up BHS store, on Fishergate, as the space where he will display four close-up face pictures of people to represent Preston.
And he is calling on people of all backgrounds and faiths to head down to the outdoor market and St Stephen's church this weekend to pose up and stand a chance at having their face on show to our multicultural city.
Garry said: "I have been using social media to look for people to have their pictures taken for the new exhibition. My plan is to print portrait pictures of their faces more than two metres high and display them on the boarded-up BHS store.
"Just in the first twelve hours, the response was absolutely phenomenal. I was inundated with messages on Facebook and Twitter of people wanting to take part and am surprised by how much interest there has been.
"I have organised some drop-in photo sessions where people can just turn up and have their picture taken. I plan on taking hundreds and then will have the job of whittling it down to just four to represent our city."
Over the past two months, Preston-born photographer Garry has been managing the first ever Lancashire Photography Festival, encouraging people to leave their homes and appreciate the streets of their city in lockdown.
Garry, who lives in Moor Park with his children Teddy, 14, and Betsy, eight, was awarded funding from Arts Council England to turn his innovative idea into a reality in April, and has been showcasing the work of award-winning photographers and novice snappers who wanted to get their work noticed.
He now hopes to represent the people of Preston with his new exhibition, commissioned as part of the Preston Live festival later this month, by encouraging people of different backgrounds to have their photo taken.
He added: "The best thing about art projects is they can have such an impact. People engage with art and it is about making people stop and experience something different and dramatic whilst getting them interested in photography.
"I have been involved in so many different events over the years but the response to this so far has been overwhelming. I am looking to make an impact on people visiting Preston and want people with character who can represent our multicultural city."
Photo sessions are being held on both Friday, June 4 and Saturday, June 5. There are sessions at the outdoor market from 11-1 pm on Friday and until 12 pm on Saturday.
Garry will also be holding sessions at St Stephen's Church from 2.15 until 2.45 on Friday and outside the BHS store from 12.30 until 1 pm on Saturday.
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