Local photographer Adina Lawrence is launching a new exhibition in an empty shop in Hanley to coincide with Black History Month.

Opening on Thursday 8 October, Diverse Landscapes is 'a celebration of the beautiful landscapes and people of Stoke & North Staffordshire'. The exhibition comprises 21 portraits and will be on display in the old Body Shop on Stafford Street for six weeks.

Adina graduated from a photojournalism degree at Staffordshire University and is now a full-time mental-health worker and a mum. The exhibition is a result of a call out from local organisation Urban Wilderness, which asked artists to explore their experiences of lockdown.

Commenting on her exhibition, Adina said: “Photography is an escape for me. My shoots combine fashion and fantasy, and this exhibition is about telling the story of our local people and the places we all share.”

The North Staffordshire locations featured in the exhibition range from Central Forest Park to the Roaches. As a Black British woman, Adina says that “representing the diverse cultures and personal histories of the people who make up our communities was really key to how I see North Staffordshire.” The models were asked to wear clothing that reflected their personal stories.

Urban Wilderness said: “We loved Adina’s pictures from the start. They are so full of colour and life. We immediately imagined them brightening up some of Hanley’s empty shop windows, and we’ve been delighted to work with the City Centre BID and Intu Potteries to make that happen.”

Richard Buxton, of Business Improvement District, added: "Stoke-on-Trent City Centre BID are delighted to be financially backing the Adina Lawrence Exhibition via our Create Fund initiative. Supporting Arts & Culture in the city centre is an integral part of the BID's work in Stoke-on-Trent. Urban Wilderness is known for its cutting-edge creative output, and this is yet another example of their truly excellent work."