Matilda Temperley - Human Zoo: The Ugly Cards

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Talented and innovative fashion photographer Matilda Temperley recalls the freak shows of old with her sprawling ‘Human Zoo' series. The images used for 'The UGLY Cards' are taken from her 'Human Zoo: London' exhibition (the first of the series), held earlier this year. Temperley recruited 56 models from the angency UGLY – contortionists, transgender body modification artists, tattooed Legionnaires and more – who now adorn her playing cards. Each is emphatically different, but all showcase the individuality of the capital’s diverse inhabitants. limited edition pack of cards will be available at the exhibition.


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The photos are great, but there aren't enough of them. Most of the best shots are only available on the playing cards, and only one has any story (Quinn's Poem, which is genuinely touching). I really want to give this more stars, but squinting to see some great pictures was a shame more than anything else. As an exhibition of the marginalised, I felt that compressing most of the subjects to a place in a deck was a touch demeaning. That said, the full size photos are fantastic.