Back to the future

We were lucky enough to get a visit from Argentinian photographer Irina Werning this week. Annemarie rounds up the team’s thoughts below.
irina photoRemember those old family snaps that raise a smile – despite the dodgy haircut and the ‘what was I thinking” poses?  Irina Werning has made her name recreating some of these photos – with a twist. In her Back to the Future collection, there are no looky-likey models, but the same person, several years older – carefully posed in the same place, wearing the same clothes.

Sounds easy enough, but when the 1970s kitchen no longer exists, and the flares have seen better days… what then?  For Irina, it means painstaking, inventive recreation – and meticulous attention to detail. It certainly pays off. Her series of portraits are fascinating and even if you don’t know the story behind each photo – it’s great fun to make one up.

Irina’s next project is in Pakistan, photographing people affected by the floods three years ago. So she stopped into Oxfam House to talk to us about her work and the challenges she will face in Pakistan. It’s a first for Irina to work with a development charity and a real coup for Oxfam. I for one can’t wait to see the results.

We were all impressed with Irina’s work. Here’s a few thoughts from the team:

“I was inspired by the lengths she goes to in order to recreate images. Her photos are successful because of the strict rules she sets herself, and the rules she allows herself to break.” [Luke]

“Impressive to see one simple idea executed so well. I thought the images were funny, profound and touching. I did keep thinking ‘why?’ though – which is no bad thing.”   [Kelv]

“Such a brilliant and simple concept with so much scope. The lengths Irina goes to, to recreate scenes, outfits and expressions really pays off. And I loved hearing about some of the stories behind the photos.”  [Claire]

Find out more about Irina’s work at