Matilda Temperly Circus image

Circus, Circus! Matilda Temperly explores individuality and performance in Contemporary British Circus

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There’s more than the feeling of the ‘beautiful outsiders’ to Matilda Temperly‘s Contemporary British Circus photographic exhibition at the Lighthouse, Poole. There seems to be a reflection that goes beyond the archival of modern circus activities, and you’ve only got until Saturday, November 27 to see for yourself.

Who wants to run off to the circus anymore? Maybe X-Factor or Britain’s Got Talent, which both seem more like a trap into a certain type of lifestyle than the escape that the circus traditionally promised. Matilda’s circus images explore freedom of expression, along with the variety of often incredibly physical skills on show in a modern circus.

Matilda grew up in a cider farm in Somerset, where she would trapeze off a forklift truck – the perfect beginnings for a career as a chemist researching tropical medicines.

And while involved with that work, it was seeing the powerful work of the circus as a means of communication in Ethiopia that got her back on that forklift truck (figuratively, of course).

She told the Independent: “Then when I was working in Ethiopia I spent time with circus groups and saw the work they were doing, delivering messages to the community through circus – and I had an epiphany.”

Matilda is also part of Circus Child, ‘which is dedicated to identifying and supporting international circus projects which use circus as a means of social engagement and empowerment’.