Manchester Art Gallery

Paul Floyd Blake: Sport for Sport’s Sake

A series of work by Paul Floyd Blake celebrating non-professional sports men and women.

Manchester Art Gallery
Saturday 14 July 2007–Sunday 14 October 2007


Paul Floyd Blake’s striking photographic portraits show ordinary people involved in a variety of sports – from football to fell running – depicted against the backdrop of their chosen pursuit. In Sport for Sport’s Sake, Blake captured a wide range of people participating in a variety of sports, from a football team of Kurdish refugees to female fell runners.

In contrast to glossy sports photography in newspapers, Blake’s pictures uncover the less glamorous realities of cold mornings, aching limbs and utter exhaustion. They also capture a sense of competitiveness, exhilaration and the pride people have in their chosen activity.

This series explored the social and cultural complexities of sport at a time in the run up to the 2012 Olympic Games. Sporting communities define the identity of their members with strict rules, regulations and modes of dress. This series of work invited visitors to question our need to join groups and participate in the seemingly trivial activity of play.

Paul Floyd Blake graduated from the University of Bradford in 2005 and lives and works across Yorkshire and the North West.