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Who is in the House?

Oh_SupportNewTalent_RGBOne thing that brings life to Oxford House is the number of rich personalities that float in and out of it. These are not only the visitors, but also the staff, volunteers and tenants who occupy the office spaces.

A lot of the time, they are hidden from view but from September this will change. Leigha Fearon visited Oxford House for a week in July and took photographs of the staff, volunteers and office tenants in an effort to better showcase the personalities in and around OH.

Her work will be exhibited in the gallery this September, and we sat down with her to discuss the project: what inspired her, her style of photograph and her plans for the future.

Why Oxford House?
One of my lecturers, Daniel Alexander,  exhibited at Oxford House and I was recommended to see if there was anything I could help Oxford House out with. I didn’t manage to do it at the time that I was set to do my work experience so I decided why not do it in the summer?

How did you get into photography?
I studied photography in college. I did Media Studies which was a B Tech, and then I joined AS photography later on in the year because I felt photography was down my direction. Now I’m in university doing a BA course in photography.

Who’s your target audience with this piece?
Anyone who comes to Oxford House. I’ve seen that quite a few people that come here are between the ages of maybe 40-60 plus, so I think for them it would be quite interesting. It would be nice for them to see who’s in the House.

What was the inspiration behind your photographs and the photographs you want to take in Oxford House?
The inspiration was the idea of getting everyone together and recognising the different organisations within Oxford House. That’s why mainly my photographs are taken in the outdoors. I feel that people are more comfortable in the park. Because the tenants and volunteers are pretty much working in offices quite often it’s nice to take them out of that environment and bring them into something else where they can feel more relaxed.

Who inspires you in terms of photography and this project in particular?
I haven’t looked at any inspiration as such it’s all just come pretty natural, just trying to get to know people. I’m not familiar with any of the businesses in Oxford House so it’s pretty much me experimenting, trying to get to know people, looking into the lens and trying to figure out different facial features and expressions that people have to offer.

Is that how you tend to prefer to take your photos?
Yeah. So I deal with trying to get to know my audience or trying to see the way they behave. Behaviour and movement is a key thing for me, that’s why I feel that me being outside I can sort of see the way other people behave as well as my environment as well.

Is there anywhere else you’d like to take photos of? Do you have plans to do anything else?
I’d like to try and perfect my craft a bit better. There’s quite a few things which I enjoy doing … Jewellery making, filming. I also like sewing so all those sort of things I’ve got to sort of make time for.

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