Relatively speaking, they’re iconic portraits of the past

Drew Gardner

Drew Gardner

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering North Oxford, Jericho and Summertown. Call me on 01865 425498

WHAT do Clive of India, Oliver Cromwell, Napoleon, Emmeline Pankhurst and Charles Dickens have in common?

The answer is quite unexpected - they have had iconic pictures of themselves recreated using their own distant descendants.

The dazzling portraits are all due to debut, along with some other currently secret additions, at Oxford’s first international photography festival.

London-based artist Drew Gardner will be bringing the show to Studio 45, in Herschel Crescent, as part of Photography Oxford, which runs from September 14 to October 5 in venues across the city.

He said: “It was partly driven by an anti-celebrity culture. People these days are famous for doing nothing at all, but we have people who are living embodiments of the people they are related to and who are doing really important things.”

Mr Gardner undertook nine years of painstaking reasearch to trackdown each descendant and then photographed them in groups – meaning in some cases he was in the surreal position of seemingly having Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington in the same room.

“It was like a meeting of history in front of your eyes.”

And he said that some of his subjects, such as Helen Pankhurst - the great grandaughter of women’s rights activist Emmeline Pankhurst – bore striking resemblances in looks and character to their relatives.

Oxford Mail:

He said: “It was common for most of them to loath comparing themselves directly to their relatives, but then I would start talking to them about their interests and passions and certain similarities would emerge.

Related links

“That is what really excites me. Helen is not only still active in womens’ rights movements, but she also has an interest in Pan-Africanism, like Emmeline’s sister Sylvia.

Oxford Mail:

“I hope the exhibition encourages people to think about where they come from, and examine if they have anyone in their past who has achieved something, and consider their roots.“ Photography Oxford, which the exhibition is part of, will see a wealth of free exhibitions open up around the city.

Oxford Mail:

The Oxford Mail’s sister paper The Oxford Times is the official media partner of the event, which will bring some 30 leading photographers from around the globe to the city.

Festival director Robin Laurance said: “In Drew Gardner we have found a photographer with a passion for history.

“His journey of discovery reads like a page-turner detective story and Photography Oxford is thrilled to be hosting the debut exhibition of the pictures that resulted from his quest.”

  • For more information, visit photographyoxford.co.uk

Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.

 

  • Our top stories

Cyclists warned: Don't be dimwits

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 25th October 2014

BIKE safety campaigners have warned that cyclists are risking their lives, after an Oxford Mail survey found more than half of them were riding without lights.

Extra hour tonight! Celebrate with top bands at unique Oxford gig

Oxford Mail:

1:40pm Saturday 25th October 2014

With an extra hour to enjoy - or recover with - tonight is the perfect night to celebrate one of Oxford's biggest nights of music

FOOTBALL: Rose wants to keep Oxford United climbing

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 25th October 2014

Danny Rose is targeting a move into mid-table today as Oxford United visit Carlisle United in search of a third win in eight days.

Shhh... silent film is a reel hit with movie buffs

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 25th October 2014

FILM buffs were given a taste of how movies used to be watched as they turned out for a silent screening in Witney.

Update: Oxford University student Isobel Priest is found safe and well

Oxford Mail:

8:49am Saturday 25th October 2014

Police have said the 21-year-old Oxford University student who was reported missing has been found safe and well.

Runaway emu killed after crash with car

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

8:40am Saturday 25th October 2014

AN EMU escaped from a garden in Boar’s Hill and died after being hit by a car, Thames Valley Police said yesterday.

 

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree