Press Release

How We Are Now

How We Are Now: Press related to past exhibition.

Tate Britain  Linbury Galleries
22 May – 2 September 2007

Following an open competition, forty photographs of contemporary Britain have been selected by a panel of experts for display as part of Tate Britain’s current How We Are: Photographing Britain show. Like the exhibition, which brings together over 500 images by 100 photographers, the winning entries demonstrate a wide range of approaches from portraiture to landscape and from formal to documentary photography. They represent some of the diverse ways we see Britain and its people.

A huge range of subjects and styles emerges from the selected photographs: a hen party struggling with Stetsons on a windy pier, a fuzzy screen-grab from Big Brother, an abstract cappuccino, a traditional black and white portrait, a graphic view of striped deck-chairs, an isolated farm-house amid snow-topped mountains and abandoned tyres, a bland suburban bungalow, a caravan in a Cornish field, an action shot of urban free-running, and a Saturday night out captured on camera-phone.

The photographs were all submitted as part of How We Are Now, an online photography project launched by Tate Britain on 22 May to tie in with How We Are.  Tate Online (, together with creative online partner BT, developed the project in partnership with global online photosharing community Flickr ( and The Observer website.  Members of the public were invited to submit photographs of their personal vision of Britain and its people in 2007 and add their photographs to the How We Are Now Group on Photographs had to illustrate one of four themes explored in the exhibition: portrait, landscape, still life or documentary.

A total of 3,330 people took part in How We Are Now and 7,876 photographs were submitted: 2,020 portrait, 2,276 landscape, 1,218 still life; and 2,114 documentary. Until now all images have been streamed onto screens at Tate Britain and on Tate Online, and The Observer’s website. The judging panel chose 10 photographs from each of the four themes to form the final display, which will be shown at Tate Britain from 6 August to 2 September 2007. These images will also be archived on Tate Online as part of the exhibition’s website.

The judges were Susan Bright and Val Williams, co-curators of How We Are; Derek Ridgers, photographer; Heather Champ, Flickr Community Manager and Greg Whitmore, Observer Picture Editor.

Editor notes

Greg Whitmore, Observer Picture Editor said 'The standard of photography has been really fantastic and the blogs and comments responding to the photographs - offering support as well as technical advice – are really inspiring.'

Will Gompertz, Director Tate Media said: 'We are delighted with the fantastic response to the exhibition. It’s great to see such widespread interest in photography and to gain an insight into the many ways we picture Britain'

Heather Champ, Community Manager, said 'We are excited to be an integral part of this unique exhibition.  The array and standard of the entries has been fantastic and it’s great to see such an inspiring collection. Flickr is all about exploring, finding and sharing images of daily life around the world, and this project has truly captured the essence of Flickr through the photography and celebration of Britain.'

Paul Simon, head of sponsorship at BT, said: 'We believe the internet plays a crucial role in stimulating and developing people's relationship with art. The success of this project is a clear vote of confidence for BT and Tate’s joint rationale to encourage people to access art via the internet in a highly interactive way.'

How We Are is the first major exhibition ever to present a photographic portrait of Britain from the pioneers of the early medium to today’s photographers. It runs until 2 September at Tate Britain.

Flickr is one of the world’s leading online photo sharing communities where people explore, find, manage and share pictures of life's daily moments with friends, family and the world. With approximately 30 million worldwide visitors each month (Comscore, June 2007) and nearly one billion photos stored, Flickr has revolutionized the sharing and discovery of what people see and experience through photos. Flickr was founded by Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake in February 2004 and acquired by Yahoo! in March 2005. To share and explore the world’s photos, visit

BT has been the exclusive online partner of Tate since 2001, and has provided web hosting, streaming and content design including interactive video delivery, to help Tate Online achieve its aim of making art more accessible to all via the internet. The work is delivered in-house by BT which works closely with Tate to develop the possibilities of broadband to create highly innovative designs, interfaces and interactive videos for Tate.