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'Until You Spread Your Wings, You Will Have No Idea How Far You Can Fly' by Nicola Morley

1 March 2020

All over the world, children dream of what they would like to be when they grow up. The children from Saakshar School in Delhi’s slums are just the same. In a collaborative workshop, the children were asked to closed their eyes and imagine if they could have any job in the world, what would it be? How would they look, stand, feel? Carefully, they drew on paper what was in their mind’s eye. Assisted by their teachers, they created an outfit from a range of dressing up clothes. To make a record, using saris as a backdrop, I photographed the children. Each child was given a printed picture of themselves, dressed for work.

Of course it is unlikely that any of Saakshar’s pupils will travel into space, but that is not the point. Saakshar’s ethos of "Having No Idea How Far You Can Fly" enables the children to dream. And why not?

Nicola Morley's work has been exhibited worldwide and published in the UK. In 2018 she was shortlisted for the British Journal of Photography’s Portrait of Britain with Cosima in the Music Room with Bat and in 2019 Grandma on Christmas Day was in both the Portrait of Britain and Portrait Salon. In 2018 she took part in the 209 Women project where 209 female photographers photographed all 209 women MPs celebrating a centenary of votes for women. She is a nominee for the Royal Photographic Society's HundredHeroines. Nicola is interested in the human condition, collaboration and socially engaged practice.

“My practice focuses on people, place and identity. It is the everyday, the mundane that absorbs my interest. Those quirky rituals that we all employ, each one a trace of our reality, that make us independently and collectively who we are.”

Nicola is part of the GRAIN Masterclass who will be exhibiting as a group at FORMAT Photography Festival in March.

See more work by Nicola Morley

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