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Sheffield College Alumnus’s ‘Extraordinary’ Exhibition

Updated: 01/11/2016

A Sheffield College alumnus has unveiled an exhibition showcasing the stories of residents who have travelled from across the globe to make the city their home.

Sheffield College Alumnus’s ‘Extraordinary’ Exhibition

Pictured: Former Sheffield College student and photographer Jeremy Abrahams.

Arrivals: Making Sheffield Home presents a moving series of portraits by photographer Jeremy Abrahams celebrating the city’s richly diverse population.

Arrivals documents the experiences of people who have come from overseas to live in Sheffield between 1945 and the present day.

The exhibition also records their personal stories of bravery, love, triumph and loss, as well as their thoughts on their adopted city. Visit http://www.jeremyabrahams.co.uk/arrivals

Featuring more than 70 photographs at Weston Park Museum, the exhibition runs until February 12th 2017 and is supported by the University of Sheffield.

Jeremy, aged 60, is a professional photographer based in Sheffield. He specialises in portrait and theatre photography and his clients have included The Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh, Scottish Opera and the Lowry Theatre in Salford.

Prior to becoming a professional photographer, Jeremy worked as an economist in London and then as a teacher in Derbyshire schools for 14 years. He became an educational consultant for a council before changing career direction again.

Four-years-ago Jeremy started a Foundation Degree in Photography at The Sheffield College, which he completed in 2014. Six months later, Museums Sheffield agreed to take the Arrivals exhibition.

Jeremy said: “I loved the Sheffield College course, being a student again and having time to develop my interests and ideas. The feedback and guidance from the tutors made all the difference.”

He added: “I hope these photos, and the stories of the people in them, offer an insight into the human experience of immigration and show how generations of arrivals have helped to shape the creative and diverse city Sheffield has become. Sheffield is a unique city but its experiences are shared by countless cities around the world.”

The College offers a broad range of university level courses. They include honours degrees, foundation degrees, and higher national diplomas and certificates, recognised by universities, employers and professional bodies. Visit http://www.sheffcol.ac.uk/courses/university-level

Heather Smith, Principal, The Sheffield College, said: “It’s so rewarding to see our students progress with the skills to pursue their interests and talents. I am very proud that one of our former students has produced a photographic portrayal of the richness of this great city in which we live. I would like to congratulate Jeremy on his success and wish him well in his new career.”

The Arrivals stories include Pedro Fuentes, whose links with the city began in his early twenties when he recommended Sheffield steel to the engineering company in Chile - which he was a designer for.

He arrived in Sheffield in 1975 after being held as a political prisoner in a concentration camp and receiving a visa to live in the UK, obtained by his wife and daughter as the result of pressure on the British government by the Chile Solidarity Campaign and Trade Union movement.

Pedro’s first job in the city was at Firth Brown Ltd of Sheffield, later becoming a teacher and organiser of classes for refugees from all over the world. Pedro was photographed at Sheffield Forgemasters.

Alison Morton, Exhibitions Curator at Museums Sheffield, said: “Jeremy Abrahams has created a moving, thought–provoking portrait of our diverse city, showing how, to many people who have come to live here, Sheffield is truly a city of sanctuary. I’m delighted that we’re able to show Jeremy’s photographs at Weston Park Museum and share these extraordinary stories with our visitors.”

For budding photographers inspired by the exhibition, Jeremy Abrahams will be running portrait photography workshops at Weston Park Museum on Saturday, November 19th 2016 and Saturday, January 21st 2017. Visit museums-sheffield.org.uk