When Lives Collide is sponsored by Brigade Electronics

A hard-hitting and emotive photography exhibition that gives visitors a stark insight into the grief and suffering facing the hundreds of people killed and injured in road crashes every day in the UK is currently on display.

Taking place at London’s Oxo Gallery from January 4, When Lives Collide is a powerful exhibition depicting the real-life horror of road collisions as described by those involved, raising awareness about the risks faced by road users on a daily basis.

Shot by renowned photographer and BIPP Fellow Paul Wenham-Clarke, a Professor of Photography at Arts University Bournemouth (AUB), the images are being exhibited to mark the 30th anniversary of RoadPeace, the national charity for road crash victims.

RoadPeace provides information and support services to people bereaved or seriously injured in road crashes and engages in evidence-based policy and campaigning work to fight for justice for victims and reduce road danger.

Since RoadPeace was founded in 1992, 81,315 people have been killed on British roads, which equates to a shocking seven deaths every single day over the last 30 years.*

Yet despite these staggering figures, the public is largely unaware that so many people are affected by collisions, and many don’t believe that they or their loved ones will be involved in a crash.

But the exhibition, which takes place at Gallery@OXO, OXO Tower Wharf, London from Wednesday January 4 to Sunday January 15, 2023, demonstrates that crashes affect everybody –whatever their age or gender and wherever they live.

Nick Simmons, CEO of RoadPeace, said: “When Lives Collide 2023 takes an artistic approach to explore the impact of road harm from the point of view of those directly impacted by it. Paul’s work so cleverly and creatively documents the lives of crash victims and acts as a call to work together to end road death and injury. We cannot allow this kind of preventable and avoidable suffering to go on.”

Paul Wenham-Clarke first addressed the tragic issue of road death and injury 20 years ago, when RoadPeace’s first When Lives Collide exhibition, was launched at Gallery@OXO. In 2002, the photographer worked with the charity and its members over a two-year period to capture the harrowing images, widely publicised at the time by the media. The exhibition then went on to tour the UK and abroad to raise wider awareness.

More than 30 road crash victims and bereaved families from across the UK feature in the 2023 exhibition. These include:

  • Lucy Harrison, of Redditch, Worcestershire, whose brother Peter Price was killed while walking by a hit-and-run driver at 93mph
  • Emma Butler and Mark Hackett, whose son Lee Ferguson, from Dudley, was killed in a crash while riding his motorbike
  • Jane Evans, from Birmingham, whose husband was killed in a hit-and-run collision outside the school they both worked at. The driver has never been found
  • Bev Abbey, whose 19-year-old son, Harry, was killed in Warrington while riding his motorbike to work
  • Steve Newcam, whose wife Annette Booth was killed by a drunk driver in Leicester
  • Mandy Gayle, whose father Hopton Gayle was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Wolverhampton
  • Diane Gall, of Dudley, whose husband Martyn was killed while cycling
  • Kate Uzzel, from North Somerset, whose husband Martyn was killed in North Yorkshire while taking part in a charity bike ride from Land Ends to John O’Groats

Speaking of the support that she has received from RoadPeace, Mrs Uzzel said: “Initially I was reluctant to attend the sessions, as knew I would break down and cry. But a desire to find an outlet for my grief, and help on how to handle it and life, I decided to go. Talking to others who utterly understood how I felt was a release.

“I did not want others to experience the pain and hurt that I, Martyn’s family and friends felt on losing him.”

She added: “Without the one I loved more than anything in the world, this lonely life was too painful to contemplate. But with the support of RoadPeace, family and friends I will flourish for the rest of my days, forever carrying Martyn in my heart.”

Professor Wenham-Clarke said: “These images serve as a window into the soul of people who have experienced a nightmare, and they address the emotional consequences of devastating collisions, which radiate out like waves on a pond.

“Some of the portraits capture raw emotions as they surge and flow through the participants, ranging from grief-stricken crying to smiling, as they remember their lost one. Mothers and fathers are left wondering why they have outlived a child and lovers are separated forever with no opportunity to say goodbye.”

For more information about RoadPeace and the support available visit www.roadpeace.org