The Changing Room: photographic portrait project

What are you wearing today?

Would you like to take part in a new Luton Portrait Project?

If so, we’d like you to get involved with The Changing Room

To celebrate International Women’s Day, Departure Lounge has invited artist Catrine Val to create new, insightful photographic and video portraits of women from the Luton area, which will be displayed at the Storefront gallery in the Spring. The portraits will focus on the importance clothing plays in personal and cultural identity and on the “double lives” lived by women, who may not always feel that they can dress as they want.

To create these portraits, we are seeking all types of women, whose wardrobe may have a split personality and whose working environment limits their everyday clothing choices. This could be for cultural reasons, religious reasons or because of lifestyle and fashion choices. If you are a woman who juxtaposes her cultural and religious values with society’s expectations or the need for conformity, we would like to hear from you!

If you would like to participate in the project and have your photograph taken for the exhibition, or would just like to talk to us before you decide, please download and complete the form below and we will get in touch. Thank you.

Catrine Val Portrait Project Entry Form Download


The Changing Room: Portraits of Contemporary Women in Britain by Catrine Val

Throughout December 2018 until March 2019, artist Catrine Val will be transforming the Storefront on Bute Street in Luton into a fashion photography studio and changing room. She will be creating double portraits of local female sitters, with each duo-portrait presenting a woman dressed for work “her public persona” and then dressed in her “true” persona. The double portraits will display the contrast between the sitter’s two “personalities” and will highlight fashions and accessories which may be alternative or non-western, but which are increasingly contemporary, British and cross-cultural. The photographs will be exhibited at The Storefront gallery on Bute Street from 17 January to 23 March 2019 with a special late  opening event coinciding with International Women’s Day on Friday 8 March, from 6.30pm-8.30pm.

Based in Germany, Catrine Val is fascinated by the huge variety of cultures found in Luton and the remarkable adaptability of the town’s women– to slip between roles and expectations, fitting in with the social and economic demands of modern Britain and of work culture, while retaining a connection with their cultural heritage or chosen social tribe through clothing, jewellery, accessories and make-up.

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