“These events are identifying signposts of a culture” – Sophie Green’s new exhibition is a vibrant portrait of Britishness
By Bailey Slater | Art | 3 November 2021

Sophie Green, ‘Boy & Cockerel’, 2014

Despite reports of its death, we can assure you that British subculture is alive and kicking in the latest exhibition of British photographer Sophie Green. Held at Messums Wiltshire, a Salisbury-based arts centre and gallery space, Showtime combines a series of works pulled from three of Green’s biggest photo series: Gypsy Gold, A Day at the Races and Dented Pride.

Green graduated from the London College of Fashion in 2012, embarking on several huge social documentary and art photography projects in the years since. From traveller communities to the beat-up cars of petrol-head racers, Green’s oeuvre captures the idiosyncrasies and sentimentality of a whole host of communities drawn together by passion or cultural heritage, with many of her projects spanning over several years.


In Showtime, each event plays host to its own unique mix of characters, some camera-shy, shown from the torso down, others practically jumping out of their intimate and revealing portraits. At A Day at the Races, Green meets an array of drum ‘n’ bass listening, gold-chain-and-grey-sweatpants-clad boy racers. Pit-stopping at regional racetracks and super-sized car meets across the country, expect tarmac skid-marks and copious amounts of Foster’s as Green captures the ecstasy of 21st-century masculinity in all of its speedy glory.

Taking its name from the surroundings of Green’s subject matter, all of the photographer’s honey-hued snapshots of 21st-Century Britain were captured exclusively at shows, fairs and mass meetings across the country. “These events are identifying signposts of a culture, a means of expressing, reinforcing and transmitting values, customs, passion and identity,” says Green. “It’s a physical display of our identity, a positive side of living and expression of life  and of who we are.”

‘Showtime’ runs until 28th November at Messums Wiltshire.

Sophie Green, ‘Luke & Pony’, 2014

Sophie Green, ‘Dented Pride 15’, 2014


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