A major photography project which aims to document one hundred years in portraits needs a few more northern faces to make the century.
Professional photographer Glynis Bland is building a portfolio of a hundred portraits of people aged from one to 100 born between 1914 and 2014 for a remarkable exhibition which aims to raise money for three charities. A book of the photos will also be published.
Her subjects – mainly in the North West – range from one year old Stanley Taylor from Grange over Sands, to 98 year old Henry Wilson Robinson from Oxenholme. Her 94 year old, Tadeusz Wierzbowski, from Cirencester, is the last surviving Lancaster bomber pilot.
But Glynis is missing 17 years to complete the collage for the project, 100-to-1, including the crucial 99 year old and a centenarian.
The photos have been taken in village halls, in the subjects’ homes or offices, and at hotels, over several months. The resulting massive photo-montage will be the key feature of a day-long exhibition and charity gala festival at the new luxury hotel and wedding venue, The Villa at Levens, in South Lakeland, on Sunday September 6.
The event will include live music, a magician, stalls run by supporting businesses, an auction of promises, and a competition to spot a “rogue” photo in the display. The money raised will be donated to three charities – MacMillan cancer relief, the Alder Hey children’s hospital in Liverpool, and Bay Search and Rescue on the north-west coast.
“As a professional photographer, I get to see and capture all types of life,” said Glynis. “Reflecting on the variety of my work, I came up with the idea of a unique new project to capture the diversity and breadth of photography that I take, and at the same time raise a substantial sum for charity.”
Glynis, a former banker who turned her photography hobby into a career, says that she is a determined fundraiser. “People tend not to say no to me. The last time I organised a charity event we raised £20,000.”
Her subjects come from all over the country, with the majority based in the North-West. “I need to complete the hundred years,” she explained. “People don’t need to provide any biographical details apart from their age, but the exhibition and the book will have one sentence from each answering the question: What could you not live without?”
Glynis, a keen horse-rider and skier, has developed a specialism for family and children’s portraits, and photographs of people with their pets. “I want to capture the images, moments and memories that people can share with their family and friends and cherish forever.”
The Villa at Levens was originally Brettargh Holt, a family home for the Brettargh-Yates family designed by local architect, Joseph Bintley in 1871. It was later owned by Sir Charles Walker whose passion for orchids led him to build greenhouses against the large garden walls that still remain. His daughters were well known suffragettes.
When he died in 1920 the estate became firstly the Levens Hotel , and then a convent for the Sisters of the Sacred Heart who ran it as a home for single mothers for many years.
Another religious order, the Salesian Sisters of St John Bosco, ran the house and grounds from the 1970s as a retreat, mainly for youth groups, Scouts and Brownies for many years, with camping in the extensive grounds. They moved out in 2012 and the estate was bought by the owners of The Villa at Wrea Green in Lancashire with plans to establish a premier wedding venue in the South Lakes.
Glynis Bland wants to hear from anyone born in the following years who would like to be part of the 100-to-1 project: 1914, 1915, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1921, 1922, 1933, 1937, 1940, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1972, 1978, 1989 and 1993. Contact her on 07919 201711.