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Photo exhibition packs a punch

An photo exhibition featuring budding boxers in 17th century costumes will be packing a punch at a Shropshire gallery.

Francesca and Demi-Leigh Hallard in their 17th century costumes at Telford Amateur Boxing Club
Francesca and Demi-Leigh Hallard in their 17th century costumes at Telford Amateur Boxing Club

Pictures of fighters taken ringside from Telford Amateur Boxing Club have been collated to create the If Pairing Were Power collection, to be displayed this spring at Dudmaston Hall, near Bridgnorth.

The costumes worn by the junior boxers in the photographs are replicas of the dresses worn in a Dutch painting of Two Unknown Girls which hangs in the inner hall at Dudmaston.

Midlands artist Faye Claridge is the brains behind the exhibition, and she worked with The Costume Project at Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, combining their costume-making expertise with her hand-printed aluminium design.

Seven-year-old Faye Holland and her brother and Jack, 10 provided the artist with the central source of inspiration for the project. They paired the painting of Two Unknown Girls (1600-1629) with Barry Flanagan’s Boxing Ones (1981) – a modern sculpture of a pair of Boxing Hares. The objects inspired the children to think about their own relationship as brother and sister.

Faye Claridge said: "If Pairing Were Power is led by children’s perspectives and is a chance to think about family relationships in all their complexity. The artwork asks us to reflect on the power of two and consider the pairings in our own lives that have led to more than the sum of their individual parts.

Alexa Buffey, senior house steward at Dudmaston, said: "Art has always found a home at Dudmaston and it’s really exciting to continue this tradition and celebrate our artistic heritage in this way. Throughout the process, Faye has worked entirely in collaboration to bring If Pairing Were Power to Dudmaston, which goes to show that togetherness and unity sit right at the heart of this powerful piece of work."

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