The amazingly detailed ‘living pictures’ that show how scenes throughout history may really have looked
Have you ever felt frustrated that photography was invented too late to give you a glimpse of some of your favourite historical events? Well, if you are a fan of Britain's struggle for democracy and equality, a free exhibition in Bradford is here to help. Ways Of Looking, a city-wide photography festival features some of Red Saunders' finest works.The artist specialises in huge 'tableaux vivants' (living pictures) where he gets dozens of actors to recreate moments from British history including the English Civil War, the Chartist movement and the Peasants' Revolt.
Ways Of Looking, a city-wide photography festival features some of Red Saunders' finest works.The artist specialises in huge 'tableaux vivants' (living pictures) where he gets dozens of actors to recreate moments from British history including the English Civil War, the Chartist movement and the Peasants' Revolt.
Historical 'evidence': Leveller Women in the English Revolution, 1647 is one of Red Saunders' 'tableaux vivants' which recreates famous - and not so famous - scenes from the past
This is the first major solo exhibition of Saunders' work and it features the world premiere of three dramatic new photographs.
The central piece of the Impressions Gallery exhibition is Saunders' latest work, Leveller Women in the English Revolution, 1647. It was shot in Yorkshire in July and the shoot involved more than 40 local people dressed in bonnets and helmets. The beautifully-lit campside tableau sees a female Leveller addressing a crowd of soldiers, Levellers and dissenters.
Dark subjects: This picture is called Wat Tyler and the Peasant's Revolt, 1381. The detail Saunders goes to - and the number of models he uses is inspiring
Close-up: You could spend hours infront of each photo, which are all displayed at Impressions Gallery in Bradford, admiring the different characters
Levellers were a political movement during the English Civil Wars. Their aims included the abolition of corruption in Parliament, the toleration of religious differences, the translation of law into common English, and the expansion of the right to vote.
One of Saunders' other pictures in the exhibition was inspired by the nationwide agricultural Swing Riots of 1830. It is a dramatic night scene where hoodedfarm workers emerge from rushes to act against repressive landlord farmers.
The final new work pays homage to Hilda of Whitby, a 7th century abbess and pioneer of women's education.
Race relations: William Cuffay and the London Chartists, 1842, shows the Chartist leader organising the rally promoting workers' rights
Saunders' photographs tend to focus on the contributions of everyday men and women to important period in history.
The artist meticulously researches the 'hidden histories' behind famous stories to provide historically accurate 'evidence' for events that occurred before the widespread adoption of camera technology.
These three pictures were speciallycommissioned for the Ways of Looking festival by Impressions Gallery and The Culture Company.