The less heard, the less obvious.

The Sankeys: Extraordinary and Everyday

A new Sankey Photography Exhibition from Signal Film and Media is opening at Barrow’s Dock Museum.

The Sankey Family Photographic Collection is a stunning collection of over 15,000 glass plate negatives and postcards of Barrow and the north-west, which were produced and shared around the world from 1895 to the 1970s. 

The exhibition, launching on Friday 15th October, brings together over 100 photographs that have been recently digitised and catalogued as part of the National Lottery Heritage-funded Seeing the North with Sankey Project. 

The new exhibition is co-curated by Signal Staff and Sankey Volunteers and focuses on four distinct themes. The themes include: the everyday life of people in the town and country, leisure activities, working lives and the maritime and shipping. There will be many images which have never been exhibited or shown since they were taken; in some cases up to over 100 years ago. A new film will showcase a series of ‘Now and Then’ images documenting the vast changes to streets and town centres over the past century. Visitors will also be able to find out more about the Sankey’s family business and the history of their photographs and collection. 

Alongside historic images, new artwork by students at local primary schools and the South Cumbria Pupil referral unit will be displayed. Activity packs for children and a collage table for all will be in place during the exhibition and people are invited to create new artworks to add to a growing display over the 3-months the exhibition will be on show. 

On Saturday 16th October there will be family friendly activities including collage and cyanotype workshops from 11pm – 3pm. All activities and entry to the museum are free. The exhibition will be open to the public every Wednesday – Sunday 11am – 4pm from Saturday 16th October until 9th January 2022. 

The project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and has involved the re-housing, digitisation, cataloging and sharing of the vast Sankey Photography Collection. It is part of Signal’s West Coast Photography Festival, which runs from 7 October – 7 November.

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