A specially commissioned series of images by renowned photographer Paul Wenham-Clarke, Senior Associate Lecturer at The Arts University Bournemouth, is on display at St Martin?s in the Field in Trafalgar Square, London as part of the celebrations marking The Big Issue’s 20th anniversary.

Entitled ‘Hard Times’ and featuring portraits of Big Issue vendors, the exhibition has already received the photography world?s highest accolade – a Gold Award from the Association of Photographers.

Paul has photographed a series of Big Issue vendors in their ‘homes’ – be they squats, hostels, caravans or nothing more than the street. Shedding light on the hidden lives of Britain’s homeless, the portraits offer an insight into their background, their family situation, the challenges they face while selling the magazine, their achievements and aspirations.

The exhibition is on display until 30th June 2011 at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London’s Trafalgar Square, in the landmark church’s beautifully refurbished public reception area. The historic venue was also the site of The Big Issue’s launch in September 1991, hence it makes a fitting venue for this anniversary celebration.

Paul Wenham-Clarke lectures on the Commercial Photography degree at the University. He has been a photographer for over 20 years, and his images have appeared in exhibitions both nationally and internationally. He commented “This ‘Hard Times’ project has been a massive eye opener. Like most people I had stereotyped ideas of what a Big Issue seller’s life would be. I never expected to come across ex-servicemen and even a ex-page three model who once was photographed by Lord Lichfield for a whisky calendar.”

Throughout 2011 The Big Issue will be celebrating a remarkable 20 years in business. 20 years in which it has helped thousands of homeless people to help themselves, in the process creating a world renowned blueprint for social change. During this time The Big Issue has also become an international publishing phenomenon and one of the best known brands in the UK.