Shifting Perspectives

In 2003 a group of photographers who all had children with Down’s syndrome put up a small exhibition for Down’s syndrome awareness week. One of our visitors was Susan Andrews a senior lecturer from the London Metropolitan University who asked if we would like to participate in ‘Photomonth’, held in the East End every year. From there ‘Shifting Perspectives’ has developed.

In 2005 the Down’s Syndrome Association asked Richard Bailey to exhibit his work at the gallery oxo, for the start of Down’s syndrome awareness week. Richard brought Shifting Perspectives with him and it has now found a home in supporting the DSA with challenging and changing the perspectives that are currently held in society.

Over the years the exhibitions have supported the DSA’s ‘Employment campaign’, where they have worked to allow people with Down’s syndrome the chance to enter the workforce they deserve. In other years the images have shown that cultural backgrounds, family values, aspirations and environmental influences all help to shape the individuality of a person with Down’s syndrome, in the same way that it would for anyone else.

Before Shifting Perspectives started there was little positive imagery surrounding Down’s syndrome. Many of the images would be of a medical or charity based nature and it should be noted that less than twenty years ago, images such as ours would neither have been made or seen.

As a group we now have a very large body of work concerning many aspects of Down’s syndrome and with thanks to a very generous grant from GlaxoSmithKline we are able to tour the exhibition internationally.

This has allowed even more people to see the individual and not just Down's syndrome, so as always we are very grateful to GlaxoSmithKline for their continued support.

Shifting Perspectives and the DSA are proud of the partnership they have with GlaxoSmithKline and as part of their programme of charitable support in the UK, GlaxoSmithKline has been supporting the Shifting Perspectives photographic exhibition for the last seven years and will continue through to 2013.

If you would like to learn more about Shifting Perspectives or would like to exhibit the work please get in touch with Richard Bailey or Alexa Dizon at the DSA.

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