DUALITY - Project Proposal


What is Duality?

‘Duality’, a documentary photography project by Simon Bray and Tristan Poyser, explores the ways in which our uniform, workwear and casual clothes influence the perception of the individual. ‘Duality’ displays each individual twice, once in their work attire, the other in their own clothing. 

How do we perceive ourselves depending upon what we are wearing? How do the public perceive those wearing workwear, either that which is enforced by their employer or selected as uniform by themselves? Can the causal clothes that we choose act as a uniform of sorts?


So far...

Duality has previously been exhibited as part of the Brighton Photo Biennial, Hull City of Culture 2017, at The Sharp Project and is due to be animated for a video installation at Bruntwood’s Neo building. It has also been shared with an international audience on BBC In Pictures (here), reaching 350,000 people over the project’s launch weekend.


What's next for Duality?

We currently have around 75 double portraits, and will be adding further imagery over the next couple of months. We are going to continue the project in order to build a broader and more diverse view of contemporary Manchester. We want to work with communities in and around Greater Manchester to participate in the project and build a body of work that documents Manchester residents, their workwear, fashions, trends and lifestyles. With the presentation of the casual wear alongside the workwear, the viewers perception of the individual is removed from any preexisting perceptions that would be apparent within the hierarchy of a business, club or institution, drawing the attention away from their job role and focussing on the person and how they like to present themselves.

We believe that Duality is something that would be of interest to Manchester's wider public and our intention is to exhibit the work within central Manchester. Our longer term aspirations for the project are to build a portrait of Manchester in the current era, something that in 20-30 years on, people will be able to look back upon and observe the evolution of society, the changes in the types of jobs that people do, how they dress to do those jobs and the fashion trends that have passed, returned and then feel outdated again.

We are currently seeking partner organisations that are interested in supporting and enabling the continuation of the project. We are looking to have conversations with the Manchester's outward-looking cultural institutions as to how the project will be continued, utilised and presented in order to establish it's legacy beyond the current day. This could come in various forms, such as:

- The means to engage Greater Manchester residents in participating, working with community groups, sports clubs, institutions, religious groups and local businesses to ensure the project is representative and accessible, 

- Spaces to present and exhibit the project

- Funding to support it's continuation

- Support through access to resources, networks, promotion or mentoring

If this is of interest and you'd like to discuss ideas for how your audience will engage with the project or have any questions about how Duality could be utilised and furthered, it would be great to chat together over a coffee. Please get in touch with Simon Bray - simonj.bray@gmail.com / 07584620249

Opera Singer.jpeg

“The moment I put on a different gown or costume to become a different character, the moment you get on that stage and you’re wearing that, you just become someone else.”  Daniella


“First appearances really count. If you go in a suit they’ll expect that you sit in an office and everyone else will do the work, whereas if you turn up in your work clothes everyone can see that you’re actually going to do the work yourself.”  Eddie

Bovine Insemination Technician.jpeg

“When I’m wearing my normal clothes, I’m just another person, when I’m on the farm, in my work clothes, people know who I am and what I’m there to do.”  Elliot



Tristan Poyser and Simon Bray are Manchester based photographers. 

Tristan's work has been exhibited at international photography festivals including, Format, Brighton fringe, Hull (HIP) & Look Liverpool. His current ongoing project ‘Borders of Brexit’ explores the landscape and communities living along the 310 mile administrative and imaginative border between the UK and EU in Ireland. www.tristanpoyser.com

 Simon's work has been displayed at The Whitworth, MIF and The Southbank Centre, and published by The Guardian, BBC and Positive News. He was one of 6 emerging artists to take part in the MIF’s Jerwood fellowship in 2017. He is currently working on documentary project, ‘Loved&Lost’ exploring participants' experiences of loss, as well as producing the upcoming Martin Parr exhibition for Manchester Art Gallery. www.simonbray.co.uk

The creation of 'Duality' was initiated through the support of Redeye Photography Network and Arts Council England.

If you would like to see further images or require any further information, please get in touch with Simon Bray - simonj.bray@gmail.com / 07584620249