Photography exhibition reveals the many faces of dyslexia

A new exhibition celebrating and showcasing people with dyslexia will launch in Hull on Monday 2 October as part of Artlink’s Square Peg, a diversity and disability arts programme funded by Hull 2017. The Dyslexia Portrait by Hull photographic artist Miranda Harr will be exhibited in Brynmor Jones Library at the University of Hull and features some names you may recognise, from former football manager Sam Allardyce to BBC antiques expert Jonty Hearnden and soprano singer Anna Devin.

The exhibition is the culmination of a year-long project which saw Miranda speaking with people across the UK about their personal experiences with dyslexia and their unique world view. Although dyslexia affects approximately one in ten adults in the UK, not everybody’s experience of it is the same.

The result of these discussions is a series of stunning portraits of the individual accompanied by a personalised image to reflect each experience and a layered audio soundtrack of the interview.

Sam Allardyce, ex-England football manager said: “I wanted to be a part of The Dyslexia Portrait because I came from a time when nobody knew what dyslexia was and I really struggled at school.

“Dyslexia doesn’t have to hold you back. The most important things to focus on are your strengths, whatever they are, and to pursue your ambition to the highest level you possibly can.”

Speaking about the project, Miranda said: “As someone with dyslexia, I personally understand the frustration of not being able to tell people how you see words, and what difficulties you have.

“People with dyslexia are often very visual, and it seemed like a perfect solution to me, to help people explain their dyslexia through art and photography. I really want help other people understand how diverse dyslexia is, and how incredible the dyslexic mind is.”

Martin Green, director of Hull 2017 added: “This is a fantastic project which explores and challenges our ideas about how people with dyslexia see the world and showcases the incredible skills, talent and diversity of people with the condition.”

The Dyslexia Portrait runs from 2 October to 11 November at Brynmor Jones Library, University of Hull as part of Artlink’s Square Peg programme.