The Burton Art Gallery is delighted to welcome a photographic exhibition to the gallery. Visible Girls: Revisited is a collection of female portraits taken by acclaimed photographer Anita Corbin. Now on display at the Burton, the exhibition brings together original images of girls in subcultures from from the early 1980s alongside contemporary portraits of the same women now. This show has an exclusive reveal of two brand new Visible Girls: Revisited portraits taken this summer.
As a 22-year old photographer at the beginning of her career in 1981, Anita made 28 double portraits of young women from different subcultural groups: skins, mods, punks, rockabillies, new romantics, rastas and young lesbians, the original Visible Girls. Anita was fascinated by the ways in which young women expressed their cultural allegiance and identity through fashion, music and style.
The ground-breaking project, Visible Girls, toured the UK in the 80s and 90s, showing in youth clubs, town halls, schools and libraries. More than 30 years later, Anita launched an international social media campaign to track down the ‘original Visible Girls’ The result – Visible Girls: Revisited – features a new series of portraits showing the women they became alongside the photos of the women they were. These images return with a story – the story of the lives of British women; their hopes, their experiences and their relationships. The trajectory of every one of them is a means for us all to consider our own identity and what it feels like to be a woman seeking an authentic tribe in the 21st century.
Anita Corbin says:
‘This exhibition is not only about the powerful bond between young women united by subculture, belief and friendship, but about the potential of women coming together across generations. Visible Girls: Revisited, allows the ‘visibility’ of youth to shine a light on the often-disregarded wisdom of the older woman, revealing a unique, cross-generational tribe with the power to provoke and inspire.
It has been wonderful to be the catalyst FOR so many powerful reunions; being there to record that moment of friends meeting again after over 30 years brings me much joy! ‘
The exhibition will feature a number of engagement activities including Anita Corbin hitting the streets of Bideford later this month to capture photography for a project called ‘Visible Bideford’. The exhibition also includes a recreated 1980s-style ‘Ladies Loos’ to take selfies in. On display until October 31, 2022, for more details check out www.theburton.org
Anita began her photography career in the early ’80s with her now internationally acclaimed Visible Girls series. A graduate of the Royal College of Art and finalist in the Sunday Times/Nikon scholarship of 1981, she then spent 15 years covering “human interest” stories for The Sunday Times and The Observer magazines and commissions for a wide range of publications followed.
Her editorial portraiture includes iconic shots of Bob Hoskins, Joely Richardson, Peter O’Toole, Alan Bennett and Mica Paris. The National Portrait Gallery in London has, to date, purchased 20 of her photographs for the national archive.
Anita’s current groundbreaking exhibition, 100 First Women Portraits is touring the UK. First Women is a unique collection of portraits celebrating women in the UK who were “first” in their field of achievement. Anita’s ten year legacy project was
launched in 2018 to celebrate the centenary of ‘Women’s Right to Vote’.
VISIBLE GIRLS REVISITED
- Liz & Jan
The Blitz, Covent Garden, London. December 1980. Found via Visible Girls: Revisited launch at Artlink, Hull
- Liz & Jan
Radisson Blu Edwardian, Mercer Street, London. December 2017. Found via Visible Girls: Revisited launch at Artlink, Hull