Welsh photographer to explore homelessness through the lens of the HWC

Welsh photographer Paul John Roberts is inviting the public to a special preview event for the new Ffotogallery exhibition One Match, from 6pm on Friday 26 July 2019 at 29 Castle St, Cardiff, CF10 1BT.

Roberts has been following the progress of Wales’ players and trainers in the build-up to the event, capturing the trials, tribulations and celebrations, as well as highlighting the social benefits that the Homeless World Cup can achieve. The exhibition One Match, supported by Ffotogallery, hopes to increase awareness of the individuals facing homelessness, and challenge the negative stereotypes attributed to them by society.

Through football, the subjects pictured in Roberts’ work become teammates who learn to trust and share. They have a responsibility to attend training sessions and games, to be punctual, and prepared to participate. They feel that they are part of something larger than themselves. From street to stadium, the sense of empowerment that comes from participating in the sport helps them see that they can change their lives.

Paul John Roberts speaks of his time working on the project:
“I knew I couldn’t be comprehensive, but I could try to see more deeply the stories behind the players by talking to everyone I met, documenting slivers of their routines and witnessing their personal moments, linking this Homeless World Cup event to the people who through their lives, give it power.

I have found deep joy and utter despair in this project. It evokes in me contemplation and introspection on how humanity squanders our most valuable resource, each other.”

Actor and activist Michael Sheen, who spearheaded the successful bid for Wales to host this year’s event comments:
“The transformation the players make, using football as the hook, is just inspiring to witness and is something we can all positively contribute towards. The football pitch works best when we help each other out. It’s the same in life. Homelessness is not about ‘the others’. It’s about ‘us’! We have a responsibility to help each other.”

One Match will be on display from 27th July – 10th August, in what will be Ffotogallery’s final show at the Castle Street venue since establishing its long-term home in Cathays, which is due to open to the public in September 2019.

For press enquiries and images, please contact Liz Hewson, Production Coordinator, on liz@ffotogallery.org.

About the Artist
Paul John Roberts, based in South Wales, is a photographer working internationally, with a focus on the UK, France and Spain. He specialises in creative documentary, editorial and commercial portrait and performance photography. Recent works include ‘Submission, Suffering and Ecstasy’, exhibited in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and ‘Sepsis Story’, working with Sepsis Trust UK to help raise awareness of the condition in order to save lives, improve outcomes for survivors and support those affected by sepsis.