The photo exhibition 'bringing creatives together' in Preston during lockdown
Photographer Garry Cook turned his vision into a reality with a new unique outdoor photography festival that's underway on the streets of Preston.
In a bid to encourage people to leave their homes and appreciate the streets of their city, photographer Garry Cook has organised the first-ever Lancashire Photography Festival.
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 and has now showcased the work of award-winning photographers and novice snappers who want to get their work noticed.
Many creatives chose to showcase the reality of life in lockdown for those living in Preston which can now be seen across the city in the pilot festival.
The city-wide project began last Friday, April 2.
Garry, 46, said: "It is brilliant to showcase the work of renowned artists and people with no experience in photography and allow people in the city to see these up close.
"People have produced great work off the back of workshops I ran. There were around 30 documentary projects created, with most of them focusing on life in lockdown.
"Pictures look at vaccination stories and social isolation and deprivation during the pandemic. It has been amazing to see photographers from different levels get involved and showcase their work."
With museums and photo galleries seeing their doors closed because of restrictions brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, Garry wanted to give people the opportunity to appreciate artwork when visiting the city centre.
Large stand-alone photo installations feature in Winckley Square with other projects being put up on walls and shopfronts around the city centre.
And the project features iconic works from two renowned photographers, John Davies and Peter Dench with the work of dozens of local photographers also being shown on the hoardings of Preston Market.
Garry added: "The fact the exhibition is all outside is exciting in itself because it means people can go out and appreciate the art whilst everything else is closed. That has been the driving factor behind this project.
"Just walking around the city becomes part of the exhibition. It's encouraging people to get out and enjoy and appreciate their surroundings and where they live and representing our city.
"I have been overwhelmed by the response because many people have commented that it is the first time they have left the house in months. It has been a brilliant way to bring artists and creatives together and feels like a massive thing for Preston.
"It will get a huge audience and affect so many people because of how many people are walking down the high street. They all focus on little stories of people from all over the city from the past year."
The exhibition will run until May 23. More information can be found here.
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