Picturing High Streets was a three-year programme by Historic England and Photoworks, in partnership with national and regional photography organisations, to create a contemporary portrait of England’s high streets. 

As part of the programme, Photoworks delivered a programme of artist-led workshops in regional locations with groups who are underrepresented in the arts (neurodiverse, LGBTQI+, global majority). 

At Shafton Academy in Barnsley, students worked collaboratively to create a body of work with artist Emily Ryalls, sequencing images to situate them within a collective picture of Barnsley’s Heritage Action Zone, telling the story of Eldon Street from their perspective. 

In Dudley, students from Dudley College worked with artist Anand Chhabra, visiting Brierly Hill where Anand challenged students with creating and telling stories regarding the historic architecture of their high street.  

Artists Kate Watson and Becky Warnock in Portsmouth and Claire Griffiths in Fleetwood undertook photo walks with a range of participants exploring coastal high streets, and in Crawley artist Eva Louisa Jonas explored representation on the high street with LGBTQ+ young people.  


Photoworks have created a series of resource for teachers supporting students interested in creating a photographic portrait of their high street. 

Picturing High Streets: Some Visual Strategies is about our relationship to place and makes use of photography as a powerful tool through which people can connect with a sense of place, community and the historic environment. The resource offers a series of short visual prompts (films) that help students uncover the stories behind the shopfronts and tell the story of their local high street.  

A Collective Portrait of a Place (Zine Making as a Collaborative Practice)
 Using the Picturing High Streets collection as a starting point, this resource invites students to explore their own high street by creating a collective portrait of a place and encourages collaborative practice through zine-making.  

Dudley College with Anand Chhabra

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