New photographic exhibition To Harpenden With Love

Published:
01:13 PM January 13, 2022



Portraits of Harpenden’s diverse community will feature in the first of a series of art installations at the town’s new cultural venue.

A new artistic hub at the Eric Morecambe Center (EMC) aims to showcase the talents of the region by exhibiting their works to the public.


An image from To Harpenden With Love by photographer Penny Bird.
– Credit: Penny Bird

The initiative will be spearheaded by longtime local photographer Penny Bird, who has worked with Harpenden residents since 2016 to create photographic works depicting the unique qualities of the township called To Harpenden With Love.


An image from To Harpenden With Love by photographer Penny Bird.

An image from To Harpenden With Love by photographer Penny Bird.
– Credit: Penny Bird

EMC director Jo Ditch explained: “His 2020/21 project was to create 18 portraits of a wide range of Harpenden characters ranging in age from three to 94 years old.


An image from To Harpenden With Love by photographer Penny Bird.

An image from To Harpenden With Love by photographer Penny Bird.
– Credit: Penny Bird

“She interviewed each person and prepared a brief personal perspective on their characters. A great opportunity to learn a little more about some of the people around us.”

Rosemary Ross, of the Harpenden Local History Society, which will open the Harpenden Museum on the ground floor of EMC in the summer of 2022, said: “Penny’s project is of great interest as an example of “living history” and will contribute to our collection for the future. I look forward to seeing his portraits and reading about his subjects.

Penny said she was grateful for the opportunity to share her topics and their stories with the community: “These annual projects are done alongside my paid work to give me the opportunity to develop my creativity and more importantly again, to give back to the local public who support my business.

“Everyone I have approached to participate or support the initiative has been wonderful. Many thanks to the people of Harpenden, especially Ken Whittaker of Whittaker & Co, for their support of the exhibit.


Sarah Sharp A&K Wilson Picture Framers who framed Joan Bartholomew's portrait

Sarah Sharp of A&K Wilson Picture Framers who framed the portrait of Joan Bartholomew.
– Credit: Penny Bird


An image from To Harpenden With Love by photographer Penny Bird.

An image from To Harpenden With Love by photographer Penny Bird.
– Credit: Penny Bird

“[Eric Morecambe’s widow] Joan Bartholomew is featured and I’m proud that her portrait hangs next to [his] portrait at the entrance to the room.”

Visitors to the center are invited to browse the portraits by the end of April 2022.

A reception hosted by Penny Bird – titled To Harpenden With Love – will be held on Saturday, March 5 at 8 p.m. Opening of reservations on the EMC site from February 1st.

Michael E. Marquez