As the Irish Road Racing Season is now just days away from starting there is no better time to get to this photography exhibition, and catch a glimpse into the souls of those involved in the greatest sport on Earth…
BBC Exhibition: Road Racing People
The appetite for motorcycle road racing in Northern Ireland is legendary. The sport, often dangerous and sometimes fatal, attracts thousands of fans to witness the speed, drama and exciting racing. On the other side of the hedge are the volunteers, families and organisers – ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
Internationally renowned motorcycle racing photographer, Stephen Davison, reveals a world behind the racing line for a new BBC Northern Ireland photographic exhibition titled, Road Racing People. The exhibition is in collaboration with independent production company, DoubleBand Films, who have also produced a new BBC TV series that goes inside the world of road racing to accompany it.
The exhibition consists of 26 portraits of riders, fans, mechanics and families taken during the 2016 season over a period of 121 days at the Mid Antrim 150, Tandragee 100, Cookstown 100, Skerries 100, North West 200 and Armoy road races. Using nothing more than a portable studio and a 50mm lens, Stephen invited people to come inside and bare their souls. 318 people did so. His photographs capture the enthusiasm, the character and essence of the sport.
The exhibition also reflects the tragic side of road racing. Two of the riders whose portraits are included, Malachi Mitchell Thomas and Paul Shoesmith, were fatally injured during the period that filming was taking place.
Stephen Davison said: “The attraction of this spectacle is obvious, but my greatest fascination in 25 years of photographing road racing has always been with the people involved. Making these portraits to accompany the filming of DoubleBand’s Road Riders series for the BBC was the fulfilment of a lifetime’s ambition.”
Dermot Lavery of DoubleBand Films said: “We wanted to convey the sport’s very real sense of family and community. Stephen’s pictures record and tell us something revealing about motorcycle road racing, its people and personalities in a way that moving images cannot.”
The exhibition is supported by Libraries NI and curated by Sarah Edge, Professor of Photography and Cultural Studies in the School of Communication and Media at Ulster University, Coleraine. The Road Racing People exhibition will be touring Northern Ireland from early April in partnership with Libraries NI. Check Libraries NI website for dates and venues.
Further details and locations of this exhibition are available on our free TBNI Road Racing iCal Calendar.