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World Photography Organisation and Hotel Indigo to launch ‘Welcome to the Neighbourhood’ touring exhibition

The World Photography Organisation (WPO) and Hotel Indigo today announced a touring photographic exhibition of work inspired by the local ‘neighbourhood stories’ of eight cities across the UK. The exhibition features the winning and finalist images of the WPO and Hotel Indigo UK-wide student photography competition – photographs inspired by the same stories which influenced the design of the Hotel Indigo properties in each city.

The collection of images will tour six Hotel Indigo properties across the UK from 25 March – 6 May, and is open for both hotel guests and members of the public to enjoy for free.  The photographs will also be included in the prestigious 2014 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London, from 1-18 May.  

As IHG’s boutique brand, every Hotel Indigo property is designed to reflect the local neighbourhood. From the building design to the hotel’s artwork and locally inspired menus, every Hotel Indigo is unique to its surroundings so no two hotels are the same. With a vision to encourage people to explore the local neighbourhood when travelling, art, design and exploration are key to Hotel Indigo. Last year Hotel Indigo partnered with WPO to challenge students from eight of the UK’s leading photography schools and universities to submit a series of photographs capturing the essence of their local Hotel Indigo’s surrounding area. One student’s work from each university was shortlisted and the resulting images, which are showcased in the touring exhibition, range from shots of iconic monuments to abstract interpretations of the area’s local history.  

The competition’s overall winner was Jemma Wilcock from the Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University.  Her series of work, inspired by Hotel Indigo Liverpool’s neighbourhood story, highlights the cotton trading heritage of the city as well as the significance of art in its cosmopolitan character.  

In addition to having her work showcased as part of the touring exhibition and at WPO’s exhibition at Somerset House, Jemma has been commissioned by Hotel Indigo to shoot as an official photographer for Hotel Indigo Rome – St. George, one of the brand’s latest hotel openings.  

Jemma said: "It will be a great moment in my career to see my work on display at hotels across the UK and at Somerset House, and I’m  grateful for the opportunity to showcase on such a large scale. Working to capture the new Hotel Indigo Rome – St. George will take my work to an international level. In the midst of the stunning architecture and historical prestige of Italy’s capital of culture, I am sure to find inspiration for the next project."

Tom Rowntree, Vice President Brand Management Luxury & Upscale Brands, Europe, IHG said: “Jemma’s conceptual photographs really captured the essence of Liverpool, both past and present. Everything about the hotel itself is inspired by its neighbourhood, from the nods to cotton trading in our décor to the food and drinks we serve in our restaurant, and so it’s a fantastic extension of this to be able to share the exhibition with our guests and local community.

“We’re really pleased that both guests and local residents in all our cities will have the opportunity to see their neighbourhood brought to life through the creative work of our finalists.”

Scott Gray, Managing Director, WPO said: “Nurturing emerging photographic talent is at the heart of the World Photography Organisation, and we’re so excited that along with Hotel Indigo we can give the student community such a great platform to share its best work. We hope the collection of neighbourhood stories will delight a whole new audience, and encourage everyone to go and be inspired.”

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