Amelia exhibition shows the power of girls today

A moving and powerful photography exhibition about childhood, hope and fear has opened at The Amelia Scott.

Being Inbetween features the work of award-winning photographer Carolyn Mendelsohn and contains 90 images of young girls aged between 9 and 13 from across the UK.

The images are being shown in the South East for the first time as part of a touring exhibition from the Impressions Gallery in Bradford.

The photos, taken by Mendelsohn over six years, are accompanied by a direct quote from each young person which details their aspirations for the future and concerns in the present.

Speaking in a short film included in the show, the artist said: “I hope people see this isn’t just about girls, it’s about humanity. It’s about hope, it’s about aspirations, it’s about being on the very cusp of your future, our future, their future.”

Through photos and interviews, Mendelsohn gives each girl the chance to share her passions and values, with the subjects choosing how they dressed, posed and what they said.

The girls are drawn from a spectrum of cultural, ethnic and physical backgrounds, offering an inclusive insight into a new generation.

Capturing the transition between childhood and early adulthood, the images offer a window into the complex emotions of youth, encouraging audiences to match the girls’ gazes and pay attention to their thoughts.

From dreams of becoming an author to ‘raising wolves in Romania’, or worries about homelessness, climate change and being left alone, the exhibition shows children’s capacity to feel and think deeply.

Jeremy Kimmel is the Arts, Heritage and Engagement Director at The Amelia. He sees the show as a photographic essay which examines how the world ‘lays its case’ on young people.

He said: “It’s incredibly poignant because the girls have these powerfully deep thoughts that you might associate with older people. It’s hard not to be impressed by how fierce they seem to be. When you’re stood in here and their eyes are on you, it’s just so incredibly moving. It’s a lot, it’s powerful, it’s necessary.” 

Being Inbetween is on show at The Amelia now until June 16.

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