Explore life on the front line of austerity at Doncopolitan HQ

Words: Vicky Prior

Photography: Jim Mortram


You couldn’t have a Doncopolitan Crawl without a big event at Doncopolitan HQ. Happily, the team has pulled out all the stops and created a stunning photography exhibition entitled On Earth To Make The Numbers Up. The exhibition features work from Jim Mortram and Broth Tarn, with 13 Women providing live music.

The exhibition title comes from a book by Evelyn Haythorne about her life in Doncaster in the 1940s and 50s. Haythorne’s book gave a unique insight into working-class life, something which both Broth Tarn and Jim Mortram have continued in their photography work. 

Jim Mortram has built a national profile on his photographs of everyday life for people living in poverty brought about by the Government’s austerity measures. I asked him about his inspiration and he told me;

‘Honestly, two things inspire me, Austerity and the repercussions of such a brutal, chosen policy, from day one has been the singular causation for my picking up a camera, an audio recorder and getting out into my community to document their testimony and experiences and two, those in my community (Just you any other community around the UK) that have been hardest hit, their endurance OF Austerity. 

I feel honoured to be a conduit for these stories, to take them to any town, city within the UK, Doncaster is no exception, I’ve found that the North of the UK to have been much more receptive to these stories.’

Putting his money where his mouth is, Mortram will be selling limited edition signed prints of his photographs, but rather than collecting the profits himself, all proceeds are going to Doncaster Food Bank.

Barnsley based Broth Tarn takes his photos using a 35mm camera. His brooding shots of the female figures in his life brought him media attention and we are delighted to be hosting an exhibition of his work in Doncaster.

Rounding off the night will be music by 13 Women (who are actually three blokes). They informed me ‘Our music is red with purple flashes. We want to play the Crawl because we know a good thing when we see it. We like folk art and this Crawl is very that.’ Check out their YouTube video below to find out what they sound like.

This exhibition is free to enter and takes place on Tuesday 23rd of July, from 5pm, as part of the Doncopolitan Crawl.

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