I was fortunate over the Easter weekend to visit the Usher Gallery in Lincoln. The guest exhibition was called Food Chain and featured the work of documentary photographers Nick May and Ben Holland. The images and accompanying video footage portray the working lives of workers, many of them migrants, in the food production and packaging industries in the south of Lincolnshire.
I got a strong sense of the terrific work ethic of all the workers portrayed, especially from the descriptive notices accompanying each image, and the video footage.
What I got from the photos was a strong sense of the humanity and dignity of the workers, young and old, and their determination to do their utmost to support themselves and their families.
The role of the gangmasters, and that of the big supermarkets was also portrayed very clearly, a real eye-opener. I found the exhibition both disturbing and uplifting at the same, uplifting because of the human spirit that shines clearly through the portraits of the workers despite the long hours, poor conditions and low pay they endure.
The exhibition runs until 30th May 2011