26 miles and three years in the making

Tuesday August 14th sees the start of a social media campaign that will be followed by my good friend the editorial photographer Cris Barnett running 26 miles in a marathon.

26miles MP and CB photo

Over three years the two of us have been travelling across England and over into Scotland collecting portraits and stories of people whose lives have been touched by motor neurone disease.

We’ll be publishing a portrait and story each day on social media for the next 26 days.

The aim is to raise awareness of MND and also funds for the fantastic Motor Neurone Disease Association.

A talented designer and editor are making our collection into a book that will be available for the MND Association’s 40th anniversary in 2019.

Instagram is the first stop to see each of the portraits and keep up with how we are doing:

Click here to get to our Instagram page!

Or copy and paste this https://www.instagram.com/26miles4mnd/

Donations can be made by texting ‘mmnd99 £5.00‘ (or whatever you can afford) to 70070 

Or click here for our Just Giving page.

Thank you all 🙂

 

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“Stronger Together”

A date for your diaries –

September 12th to 17th, I will be exhibiting at “Stronger Together” an exhibition raising funds and awareness for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Stronger Together - poster - final

This is a really exciting opportunity for me to show a lot of my work including new pictures that have not been exhibited before. If you are in London at the time do pop in and have a look. Better still, bring your wallet and buy some of the exhibits – all the proceeds will go to the fantastic work of the MND Association.

Photography springing into life

Spring brought a flurry of activity for me including a six-week solo exhibition and a presentation at the Royal Geographical Society about my helter-skelter ride from being a BBC news cameraman and director to an unpaid street photographer who takes photos from a light weight mobility scooter.

Miles on stage Rewired2017
from BBC cameraman to Scooter Shooter

The talk was part of Rewired 2017 for Movement for Hope who create art-science events supporting research and people with neurological conditions (click here for a “The Lancet” review of Rewired).

It’s not the only public speaking that I’ve been asked to do this spring. While my solo exhibition was at Worcester Arts Workshop I was asked to give a talk for the Worcester Visual Arts Meetup. It was nice doing that surrounded by my photography on the walls. There’s something very special about seeing your photos printed, framed and up on a gallery wall – so much more satisfying than pixel peeping on a monitor!

Miles talking at WAW for Worcester Visual Arts Neetup
speaking at Worcester Visual Arts Meetup

The six weeks of the exhibition were truly memorable for me – From the sheer number of people from all walks of my life who came to the opening night and the fantastic response the pictures seemed to have, to the friendliness of the Worcester Arts Workshop / Café Bliss staff, to the support of my great friends who hung the pictures for me because my MND wracked body made it impossible for me to do so. Thanks so much everyone – you know who you are!!!

A few people who couldn’t get to the exhibition have asked me to show the photos online so here they are in the order they were up on the wall:

(Click on the first thumbnail to enter a light box gallery – all pictures © Miles Pilling).

All but the first of the 17 photographs were taken in Worcester (which is a fairly small Cathedral city) so I was apprehensive about the reaction if local people recognised themselves in the candid images. In the event, several people were recognised and in every case there was a very positive response! It was really very heart warming as in the process I found out who some of the previously anonymous people in my photos were.

The reactions made me think that maybe the vast majority of people are quite OK about being photographed candidly as long as the pictures “are respectful of their subjects” as one visitor remarked mine are.

So now I know the background to some of the people in these photos, I might be telling their stories in future posts. Why not click “follow” so you don’t miss them.

See you again soon 🙂