A portrait of Joe Smart, 6, known as ‘Strong Joe’, in the village of Tombohuaun, Kailahun District, Sierra Leone, May 2017. WaterAid/ Joey Lawrence
Recently shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2018, New York photographer Joey Lawrence is coming to the UK for a London exhibition in association with WaterAid.
On display at 56 Brook Street, Mayfair will be his shortlisted portrait of six-year-old Joe Smart – nicknamed Strong Joe for his energy – alongside several stunning shots from his two-week trip to the Sierra Leonean village on behalf of the international charity.
For generations, villagers collected water from a stream in the jungle and faced the daily risk of disease and even death from drinking dirty water.
Last winter, in the space of just a few months and with the support of UK aid from British people, WaterAid helped every woman, man and child in the village gain access to clean water, decent toilets and hygiene knowledge as part of its Untapped campaign. Now, life in the community has been transformed.
“Projects like this are a dream for a photographer,” says Joey. “The time I spent in Tombohuaun with WaterAid was an unforgettable experience, to document the lives of its residents as they strive to take their place in the world after devastation and loss. I’m really excited to see the work displayed and to share the spirit I saw in Tombohuaun with people in London.”
The exhibition will give fans of Joey’s work the chance to see the full collection of portraits, buy prints and hear first-hand the inspiring stories behind the photos. Proceeds from the sale of 200 of the prints will go to WaterAid to help provide clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene to more communities around the world.
The exhibition opens on Friday 19 October and runs until Sunday 21 October at 56 Brook Street, Mayfair, W1K 5NE. Find out more: joeyl.com.
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