Double Take at the Walker Art Gallery

Professor Mark Durden and Jon Medley

Professor Mark Durden and Jon Medley

The Double Take exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery, featuring images from LJMU’s Keith Medley photographic archive, continues until 15th September. Public reaction has been very positive and two people who recognised themselves have been in touch to tell us more about how their photographs came to be taken. Keith Medley had a studio and photography business in Wallasey, initially in partnership with his colleague Bob Bird. They took press photographs, local scenes and studio portraits both on the Wirral and in Liverpool from the late 1950s. Keith Medley became the sole owner of the business during the 1960s, continuing to the mid-1980s, and the extensive collection of photographic negatives came to LJMU via family members including his son Jon Medley, pictured here. Professor Mark Durden and Ken Grant from the University of South Wales curated the current exhibition, based on passport photographs taken on glass plate negatives in the late 1960s. Most of the images show one sitter in two poses, which suggested the Double Take title for the exhibition, though there are a few with two different people in them. As well as the local interest in the photographs, there has been a great deal of positive feedback from professional photographers interested in the techniques and in the effect achieved by the double portraits. Mark Durden provided a thoughtful essay on the background to the photographs and the curation of the exhibition for a specially produced book, available to buy from the LJMU online shop. Work continues on the cleaning, preservation and digitisation of the collection here in LJMU Special Collections and Archives and we will add to the Keith Medley Archive web site as the work progresses.

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