THE lens of celebrity photographer Rankin points away from stars and looks the darker side of the universe, life and death in the eye as part of a major photography “coup” for Liverpool.
Individuals diagnosed with terminal illnesses will be depicted alongside those who have managed to defy the grim reaper against all the odds Raknkin's new project, ALIVE: In The Face of Death.
But the show, which will also form a BBC TV documentary, is as much about celebrating life and diversity of character as it is about photographing subjects who are running out of time, curators at the Walker Art Gallery say.
The show is one of the main strands of LOOK/13 - Liverpool's month-long photography biennial.
Rankin, 46, who is more used to photographing the likes of The Queen, Kate Moss, Daniel Craig and Hugh Grant, said: “This is one of the most challenging projects I’ve ever been involved in and looks at life in the face of death.
"The issue of death is emotive. Part of this exhibition has involved me taking photographs of people with terminal illness which has been quite a challenging process.
“I’ve met some amazing people and I think each portrait brings out the vitality of each subject, their humour and unique qualities.”
The Culture Show is filming the artistic process behind the exhibition: Editor Janet Lee added: “This is a huge undertaking by Rankin and we are thrilled to be making a documentary that will reveal the whole process with exclusive access to Rankin and his subjects.
"The collaboration between The Walker Art Gallery, The Culture Show and BBC North aims to bring audiences a moving, life-enhancing film and a ground breaking exhibition.”
This is the second time National Museums Liverpool has worked with Rankin. In 2009 he visited World Museum as part of his Shoot Me, Rankin project which saw him photograph 1,000 people to form a portrait of modern Britain, including this one here.
LOOK/13: Liverpool International Photography Festival launches on Light Night, Friday 17 May, and will see dozens of photographic exhibitions and events taking place across the city, including shows by August Sander and Arthur Fellig, Keith Medley , Tom Wood, Martin Parr, Charles Fréger and Eva Stenram.
The full and final programme is being announced next week, so watch the space.