Photographer creates new take on Wright portrait

Forming part of The Grand Tour Season 3, Derby Museums and award-winning Derby photographer Simon Mackney have joined together on a project to recreate two 21st century versions of one of Joseph Wright’s most iconic portraits of the industrial era – the painting of Sir Richard Arkwright. 

The painting has been the stimulus behind two original portrait photographs which now form part of  the exhibition The Art of Industry: From Joseph Wright to the 21st Century, at the Museum and Art Gallery until June 17, which looks back at the region’s industrial history through both historic artefacts and artistic interpretation.

Simon has worked with two of the region’s leaders in industry to recreate the portraits.

Liz Fothergill CBE, Chairman of Pennine Healthcare  and Robert Kirkland, Director of the Bowmer & Kirkland Group, were selected to pose in his take on the Joseph Wright portrait. 

Following the main themes within the Wright painting but with modern twists, Simon looked to reconstruct Arkwright using contemporary components within the original framework of the piece.

Liz, said: “What a wonderful experience it has been to sit for a photograph with Simon; a nod to how Arkwright would have sat for Wright all those centuries ago.”

The project and exhibition form part of The Grand Tour, a cultural journey across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, which is on until June, with an exceptional programme of exhibitions at Chatsworth House, Nottingham Contemporary, The Harley Gallery at Welbeck and Derby Museums; as well as a range of fringe venues across the region.
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