UNCOMMONERS: Portraits of Life in the New Forest – Steve Poole

18 May – 13 July

In UNCOMMONERS acclaimed photographer Steve Poole has a created a study of the New Forest unlike any other: a series of environmental portraits that shed light on the vibrant, idiosyncratic human ecosystem at the heart of one of the UK’s most beloved National Parks. The exhibition includes 70 photographs from a project Steve spent eighteen months working on and includes extraordinary pictures of New Forest commoners, spectacular shots of sportsmen and women and intimate portraits of workers, hobbyists, conservationists and artists, all captured among the area’s beautiful landscapes.

Steve was born in London and after sailing the world in a 27-foot catamaran, embarked on a career in photography covering top level sport, fashion shows and news events. In time he came to focus on portraits, shooting some of the world’s biggest names including Kate Moss, Tony Blair and Sir David Attenborough and these won him multiple awards and saw his work exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London. He moved to Lymington in 2010 and freed of the constraints of studio portraiture began discovering the people and landscapes of the New Forest and so the UNCOMMONERS project was born.

These photographs aim to form a portrait of the New Forest by documenting the people who live and work here, and whose lifestyles are every bit as diverse as the area itself. They include commoners who for generations have grazed their animals in the Forest and outsiders, like Steve, who have chosen to make the New Forest their home. The entire project, running to some 220 colour photographs, is also captured in a beautiful hardback book available in the museum shop priced at £45.

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