Looking for Sandwell: Niall McDiarmid's colourful portraits of people in the West Midlands

Looking for Sandwell © Niall McDiarmid

Sandwell in the West Midlands is the focus of Scottish photographer Niall McDiarmid's latest series, featuring more than 50 portraits of local people from all walks of life.

Known for documenting the people of Britain in a distinctive style, his work often features characters who are dressed in bold colours and patterns, shot against correspondingly colourful backgrounds.

"Initially I began taking portraits on the streets near to where I live in south London, building a small series that would show the diversity of the community I live in," he explains. However, within weeks, he had branched out to cover the whole of the capital and then began his journey to cover the whole of Britain.

Since 2011 he has travelled across the UK, shooting over 2,000 portraits in more than 200 towns and cities – from Dingwall in the Highlands of Scotland, all the way south to Bodmin in Cornwall, and now to the six towns of Sandwell. "Through this series, my aim is to show Britain as a diverse and multicultural society at a time of huge change," he remarks.

Niall's portraits are held by the Martin Parr Foundation, the Museum of London, the National Portrait Gallery and the Sir Elton John Photographic Collection. His published books include Crossing Paths (2013), Via Vauxhall (2015) and Town To Town (2018).

Looking for Sandwell will go on show during Blast! – a festival that takes place from 24 May to Saturday 29 June 2019 in Sandwell. Discover more at www.blastphotofestival.com.

Looking for Sandwell © Niall McDiarmid

Looking for Sandwell © Niall McDiarmid

Looking for Sandwell © Niall McDiarmid

Looking for Sandwell © Niall McDiarmid

Looking for Sandwell © Niall McDiarmid

Looking for Sandwell © Niall McDiarmid

Looking for Sandwell © Niall McDiarmid

Looking for Sandwell © Niall McDiarmid

Looking for Sandwell © Niall McDiarmid

Looking for Sandwell © Niall McDiarmid

Looking for Sandwell © Niall McDiarmid

Looking for Sandwell © Niall McDiarmid

Looking for Sandwell © Niall McDiarmid

Looking for Sandwell © Niall McDiarmid

Looking for Sandwell © Niall McDiarmid

Looking for Sandwell © Niall McDiarmid