Copeland is celebrated in a new photography exhibit

By Rachael Grealish

COPELAND on the cusp of change is to be celebrated in a new photography exhibition.

A Copeland Celebration: The exhibit will take a look at people and business in Copeland.

A project saluting the people of Copeland, Celebrating Copeland – Part I, by Robert Haile, opens at Florence Arts Centre on Saturday February 11, running until Saturday March 4.

Celebrating Copeland – Part 1 is a project that explores the people and their workplaces in the area by the Cumbrian photographer Robert Haile.

The project is set to be one of many that look at Copeland, with part one featuring people of the area at work.

The exhibit will explore a Copeland in the here and now, on the edge of change and feature a series of black and white images of people at work around the north-Copeland area.

Robert said: “The area is at the beginning of a new era and on the cusp of change – with a new coal mine, nuclear site, national grid, MP and possible constituency change the time felt right to start looking at the people, businesses and area and celebrate them.”

The Egremont-based photographer’s work is inspired by the Manx photographer, Chris Killip, who documented and celebrated the people of the Isle of Man.

“When I got to see Killip’s work up close, while holidaying in the Isle of Man, I saw the complexity and depth of his images. This inspired me to look at Copeland in the same way.”

A significant thing about the project is that it is ‘deliberately unfinished’.

Robert said:“This exhibition is showing a project that is deliberately unfinished with more of the area to be explored.

“Hopefully this exhibition can start a discussion in the community about the area – this discussion will then influence my next set of projects, so I can truly have the community at the heart of my exploration of the area.

Robert Haile’s ‘Celebrating Copeland – Part 1’ will be running at Florence Art’s Centre, in Egremont, from Saturday February 11 to Saturday March 4.