Rhubarb Rhubarb: Jaskirt Dhaliwal

I met Jaskirt Dhaliwal, one of the festival volunteers helping with the running of Rhubarb Rhubarb, on the coach trip on the coach trip to Walsall, and had enjoyed hearing about her project in Bearwood and her enthusiasm about it, Birmingham and photography, so I was intrigued to see what her pictures were like. So when I saw her sitting with a box of pictures at the book launch I went over and took a look.

I wasn’t disappointed. Her work has a freshness I find appealing, and the Bearwood series, which examines peoples ideas about community through a series of portraits of residents of this small town on the edge of Smethwick, just outside the centre of Birmingham. Each is shown in a location that has a particular resonance for them, and she has explored through them the question of why some people at least “continue to live in the same area for decades“, although, as she found, “a lot of other people photographed for this series believed the notion of community has disappeared.”

Unlike many groups of photographs which centre around a strong theme, the images here also show a sensitivity to the situation and the personalities involved. I benefited from hearing something about the people in these pictures as I was shown the images, and I think it would be useful to have some short texts with the images on the web site. Looking at the image of Mick, for example, it is not immediately obvious where he has chosen as the location for this image, nor his reasons. It is a portrait that echoes something of his personality, but for the project we need more.

Mick (C) Jaskirt Dhaliwal

Jaskirt graduated this year from Coventry University, where her degree was in Communication, Culture and Media. Her final project proposal, on Women Footballers, gained her the Photo Imaging Council Award 2007, and was exhibited earlier this year at Redditch United Football ground, at Focus on Imaging in the NEC at Birmingham, and, together with work from Bearwood, at Coventry Glasshouse gallery. You can also see work from Women Footballers on her Flickr site, as well as four images of British Asian Musicians.

Peter Marshall

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