More than 100 local people will become part of the new Everyman Theatre’s portrait wall.
More than 100 local people will become part of the new Everyman Theatre’s portrait wall. Laura Davis meets the photographer behind their pictures
WHAT sort of personality makes people desire to see their own image decorating the front of a Liverpool landmark? To want your photograph displayed life size for passers-by to ogle, would you have to be a narcissistic exhibitionist with a superiority complex?
Photographer Dan Kenyon, one of the team behind the new Everyman Theatre’s portrait wall, says not.
He has met and taken pictures of around 310 people, 105 of which will have their likenesses turned into three storeys of shutters that will adorn the front of the new building.
Everyone in Liverpool was invited to attend a photography session at venues across the city and Kenyon says very few were show-offs.
“We had rather less of the outgoing types,” says the Hull-born portrait photographer, who was chosen for the job through an interview process.
“We got a lot of people coming along who were quite shy but wanted to be a part of it.
“I got the impression that for most people who came it wasn’t about getting to be on the outside of a building for the sake of it. The building itself was important to them.
“We had people who wanted their children and babies to be photographed but didn’t want to be included themselves, but we were looking for a range of ages and a whole mixture of different people.
“The obvious thing to have done would be to use celebrities who were connected to the theatre, maybe started their careers there, but Gemma (Bodinetz – artistic director) and Deborah (Aydon – executive director) wanted real people – the Everyman for everyone.”
It was then the job of Kenyon, Bodinetz and architect Steve Tompkins, of Haworth Tompkins, to whittle the thousands of images (around 50 frames were taken of each person) down to just 160. These were then printed off and stuck with blue tack to a board in a range of configurations to help the team visualise the finished wall. The final 105 people were announced on Monday.
These photographs will now be cut into aluminium shutters using a water jet machine. They will then be attached to the top three floors of the new Everyman theatre, where they will appear as positive images during daylight hours and as negatives after dark. The theatre is due to open towards the end of this year after a £28m rebuilding project.
“I’m very excited about it,” says Kenyon, whose career began as a London-based fashion photographer before he moved to Liverpool seven years ago.
“To have my photographs on the side of a building that will last for many years is fantastic. It will probably see me out and it’ll probably see out most of the people featured.
“There will be kids who will be able to still see themselves up there when they’re in their 50s.
“Future generations will be able to see their grandparents on there.
“You could take your date up to Hope Street and show off saying ‘that’s me, I’m the second from the left’.”
Meet some of the people chosen to feature on the portrait wall in our video at www.liverpooldailypost. co.uk/multimedia