Together we make the city

Jozef, A 23-year-old who used the YMCA to help to turn his life around has been chosen as the Face of Stoke-on-Trent. Jozef Clark, of Hanley, was one of 3,550 people who submitted a picture for the free outdoor exhibition in the city centre. His face is the main, iconic image for the artwork, which is made up of photographs of people from across Stoke-on-Trent.

The People’s Picture – run by award-winning artist Helen Marshall – was commissioned to create the artwork as part of Stoke-on-Trent’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2021.

On Saturday, November 25, a public Face of Stoke-on-Trent celebration event was held outside the artwork. Residents and visitors had the chance to speak to Jozef and some of the shortlisted ‘faces’, as well as Helen, photographers, representatives from B Arts, the SOTogether Social Impacts Group, and others involved in the project. A booklet with the featured ‘faces’ and their stories was also available at the event.


Why a face?

Cities are made of people not buildings. When we choose to live in a city like Stoke-on-Trent it is because we identify with it, and a face made out of thousands of people could be the perfect way to represent the city. But can just one face represent an entire population? We are about to find out.


The People’s Picture

Every Picture Tells A Story – A project by award winning artist Helen Marshall. Marshall’s practice is rooted in photography and socially engaged practice. In 2016 she set up The People’s Picture project as a stand alone project platform for her photo mosaic work. In 2008, Marshall’s The Big Picture was unveiled in the West Midlands and broke the world record for the largest photo mosaic in the world. Ten years later she is back. Her projects have been featured in the national news and are held in private and public collections in a diverse range of locations including cathedrals, museums, airports and on the street.

Visit The People’s Picture website thepeoplespicture.com and follow on social media @thepeoplespicture / #thepeoplespicture

Stoke-On-Trent For City of Culture 2021

UK City of Culture is a title given to a city in the United Kingdom whereby the city creates a national cultural event programme for one year. The initiative is administered and judged by the UK government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport. It aims to celebrate culture and bring a number of significant social and economic benefits to an area. It is a hard fought competition that is entered by several cities in the UK. We want to build on the partnerships that have been forged to create Stoke-on-Trent’s bid.

Visit the website at sot2021.com and follow on social media: @sot2021 #sot2021



B Arts – Stoke-on-Trent

B Arts works with associate artists and partner organisations from a wide range of creative fields. They are all people and organisations who are committed to socially engaged practice – using their professional skills, and capacities to work alongside people who don’t consider themselves to be professional to make work that makes a difference on many levels and in lots of different ways. B Arts will procure and work with local photographers and via it’s wide reaching community networks they will create many opportunities to participate in this project. You can find out more about what the extensive team are up to in Behind the Scenes.

Visit their website b-arts.org.uk and follow on social media: @_barts 



SoTogether CAN (Community Advisory Network)

The SoTogether CAN (Community Advisory Network) is a group of people living, working or studying in Stoke-on-Trent.  They were formed to advise the Stoke-on-Trent City of Culture team from a local and community perspective.  The group has supported specific projects, helped to shape the community engagement aspects of the City of Culture bid, informed consultations on Culture in Stoke-on-Trent, disseminated of information to networks and worked as peer researchers. The People’s Picture will work with the group to choose the final face. You can find out more about what the extensive team are up to in Behind the Scenes.

Join in here. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/city-of-culture-2021-sotogether-can-tickets36684518382  

Grain Photography Residency & Appetite

Some of the photographs from the Settling project, led by artist Sam Ivin, appear in The Face of Stoke on Trent, and are revisited through a fresh series of portraits during a workshop run by Sam. Settling is a community photography archive, co-commissioned by Grain Projects and Appetite, supported by Arts Council England and Creative People and Places.

Grain delivers activities in collaboration with national and international partners to support and grow photography opportunities in order to support artists and develop opportunities for audiences and participants.

Appetite is a three-year programme that will get more people to experience and be inspired by the arts from Stoke-on-Trent. Sam Ivin is a photographer whose work focuses on social issues and the people connected with them. His pictures attempt to demonstrate the impact situations have on his subjects.

Find out more here. http://grainphotographyhub.co.uk/portfolio-type/settling/ 

The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery Archives

The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery has the world’s best collection of Staffordshire ceramics – ‘unrivalled on both national and international levels’  unique collection of works of art including Picasso, Durer and Degas and national touring shows.

The People’s Picture has been working behind the scenes, with a surprising collection of yet to be digitised pictures of people pre 1900 to present day. This is the first time in a century some of these photos have been seen.  A large collection of several thousand photographs, transparencies and glass plates, mainly representing views of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, local industries and portraits of local people. Themes include community life material relating to local churches, hospitals, holidays, local government, public services, sport, schools, amenities, entertainment, popular culture and defence and wartime.


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