This series was photographed in various locations throughout Leicester, the second largest multicultural city in the UK. The city and the wealth of characters who live there are often ignored.
Shot against a white backdrop, eliminating any reference to the sitter’s environment, these large format photographs are made with an Arca Swiss view camera using 5×4 inch sheet film. It is a process which requires time and allows the subject to drift off into his or her own thoughts during the shoot.
The uniformed and systematic approach of these portraits invites us to compare and contrast the subjects, to see if any distinctive eccentricities surface. O’Leary’s We’ll Live and Die in These Towns seeks to capture identity and an essence of the sitter’s whilst at the same time recording an active fragment of the Leicester’s history.
Paul O’Leary lives in the UK where he teaches photography.
He is co-founder of Photofiction.org