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Project 22: beautiful faces for a beautiful cause.

25 Jun

For the past months now, the second floor studio of St. George’s House in Bolton has been home to photographer John Bentley, who has been a man with a rather big project on his hands. Some doubters may have even suggested it was a project that was far too big for one man, but regardless of the challenges, John has largely met his challenge. And what was this challenge? To photograph 2,222 images of faces between the new year and June, all in aid of a worthy cause: The Lagan’s Foundation to supply home respite and support services for young children with heart defects and feeding issues across the UK.


Intrigued and inspired by the apparent significance of the number 22 in his life, John settled on his ambitious number of portraits. Having pared down that final number to ensure completion, John has worked morning, noon and often night to complete his project. The final aim is to have a minimum of 222 portraits to present at an exhibition at The Gallery At St George’s House, Bolton this Summer, although he has taken so many more. Sadly, you’ve missed your chance if you wanted to get your photograph taken for this astounding endeavour, but you can still see John’s exhibition and support a very commendable cause. If the eyes are the windows of the soul, then John has provided beautiful insights into each of those and given us a strong clear, message: we’re all beautiful in all our own special ways. What better message to give while supporting a noble cause. In addition, ensure you come down to St. George’s House in July to view these remarkable pictures.

Hopefully John is quite happy to have some extra promotion, or as he once said to me, “F*** off, Simon!” Seriously though, you won’t find anyone who hasn’t had a fun and often self affirming experience being involved in this project, and we all owe John a great lot of thanks, as do the Lagan’s Foundation for the generous support.

To find out more and to make a donation, go to John’s site:


Project 22 is a photographic exhibition by John Bentley, showing at The Gallery at St. George’s House, Bolton, from 7th July (9am-5pm) to 8th July (10am-2pm),

What Nietzsche said.

9 Feb

I suppose the hardest thing to write about are the feelings and challenges following the loss of a loved one, and while bereavement isn’t the sort of personal occurrence I’d usually include as part of this blog, it has effected everything, and this site is no different. I even missed a month without a single blog entry being posted, and that’s never happened since I started it. Not to say it won’t happen again; I’m under no obligation!

In addition I’ve had other less permanent losses to contend with as well, so not a happy time. But I am back! So I would say that times like these are possibly the best times to be channeling energies into something creative. Hopefully this will not involve penning awful angst ridden poetry, but instead be something worthwhile and much more palatable for sharing, like more reviews and articles on films and music. Plus, although it doesn’t really qualify as a creative endeavour in the traditional sense, a friend of mine has asked if I’d like to start fencing again. No, this isn’t some foray into landscaping, but rather the martial art involving swords. I need to get a bit more physically active, and I always enjoyed that. Fitting it into my average working week could be tricky though, but where there is a will (no black humoured pun intended there, but it did provoke a wry smile).

A more long term plan is to downsize a bit and ‘declutter’. These all seem like quite cliched things to be doing after significant life changes, but that doesn’t make them any less valid actions to be doing. Regular readers will know I’m from Manchester, but more accurately I’m about twenty miles out from the centre and would like to move a lot closer, which will help with work commitments and commuting, but also put me more in the midst of all the exciting events large and small that happen in the city, and might even serve as topics for this blog.

So, that’s me done for now, and hopefully explains the lack of blogging activity. That’s as personal as I’ll get on here, nothing else to share right now. But keeping active, and in particular creatively active is a crucial focus at times like these, no matter how small the creative act. I wrote this blog today, and that’s something in itself.

See you again soon with more of the usual, and the beginning of a new type of normality that will emerge from this transitional period.