Research output: Practice-Based and Non-textual ResearchArtefact


Construct is a practice research socially engaged photography project created by Anthony Luvera between 2018 and 2022, in collaboration with people who have experienced homelessness in Birmingham. Construct was commissioned by GRAIN Projects, in partnership with SIFA Fireside.

Over four years, Luvera was embedded within the support services of SIFA Fireside, Birmingham’s main day centre for homeless and vulnerably housed adults. The artist began by working in the kitchen, preparing and serving meals, before inviting participants to explore photography through regular meetings and workshops. Over 50 people took part, using disposable cameras and camera-phones to document their experiences. Throughout the lockdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic, Luvera continued working with participants by online platforms, post, telephone, and email.

Participants were also invited to make a self-portrait for the artist’s ongoing series, Assisted Self-Portraits. To create an Assisted Self-Portrait, Luvera meets each participant in locations that are important to them, to teach the individual how to use digital medium format camera equipment with a tripod, handheld flash, cable shutter release, and laptop. The final portrait is selected by the participant.

From the 14th of September to the 13th of October 2022, Construct was exhibited in the public realm in Snow Hill Square and Snow Hill Train Station in central Birmingham. 21 portraits were displayed on bespoke sculptural structures in Snow Hill Square. Photographs documenting the creation of the assisted self-portraits and images made by the participants were shown in Snow Hill Station.

Construct was a keynote exhibition at The Northern Eye International Photography Festival in Colwyn Bay, Wales from the 7th to the 31st of October 2023.

In January 2024, the work, Assisted Self-Portrait of Mauvette Reynolds from Construct won the prestigious Portrait of Britain award by the British Journal of Photography in partnership with JCDecaux UK. Anthony's winning image was featured across the United Kingdom throughout January 2024 on digital screens in bus shelters, rail stations, shopping centres, beside roads, and at Heathrow Airport. Additionally, the work was featured in Portrait of Britain Vol. 6 published by Bluecoat Press.

A full publication of Construct, featuring contributions by Joseph Anderton (Birmingham City University) and Halima Sacranie (University of Birmingham), is scheduled for release in March 2024, published by GRAIN Projects.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBirmingham
PublisherGRAIN Projects
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventConstruct - Snow Hill Square and Snow Hill Station, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Sept 202313 Oct 2023


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