Screen-grab of the online version of the Public Gallery where all 1696 photographs were uploaded


Writing about the public photographs in his essay to accompany the exhibition Sean O'Hagan says: "The results of this democratic photographic process are intriguing, not least because, given the general feeling of distrust bordering on disdain directed at politicians during last year’s protracted scandal over their expenses, one might have expected more cynicism, more cruelty: politicians tripping up, falling down, grimacing, hectoring, guffawing, constantly caught off guard by the unforgiving eye of the mobile phone camera.


Instead, the general tone is one of stoical scepticism tinged with an undercurrent of surreal black humour. The 1696 submitted photographs that make up the public part of the Election Project are intriguing and revealing on many levels. Firstly, they are a wilfully unruly retort to the increasingly stage-managed campaign events that the mainstream press cover often unquestioningly. (David Cameron went so far as to employ his own official campaign photographer, Andrew Parsons, whose photographers were distributed free to the local and national press, a move that speaks volumes about the increasingly blurred line between politics and public relations.) Viewed in their entirety, the public photographs show both the mundane reality and the heightened atmosphere of a British general election campaign."


You can read Sean's essay 'The Election Project Public Gallery - an anthropology of ourselves?' by downloading a pdf here.