It’s an ongoing project that Verdon-Roe began in 2008 when she went to Orkney’s northern most island, the tiny North Ronaldsay, which due to an aging population, is effectively at risk of becoming a dying island.
Returning this year, she discovered that the population of 63 had dwindled to 50 and the 4 children on the island no longer have a school, as it was forced to close. However, two new council funded houses have been built in the hope that the arrival of some young families can revive a community that is heading towards extinction.
The exhibition is particularly interesting as it documents a community that is undergoing huge change and struggling to adapt and survive, whilst also sustaining itself in a way that hasn’t changed for generations.
As with any documentary photography of this nature, the images that Verdon-Roe has captured are all the more astonishing considering she had to be accepted into an incredibly tight-knit community, before being allowed access to their lives.
‘as you are’ is completely free and open until the 15th August.
By Jonnie Fielding
as you are runs till 15th Aug at Rich Mix Mezzanine Gallery, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA