I came across Michael Alberry’s work in the most recent issue of The British Journal of Photography and was immediately drawn in to his excellent project A Time To Dance. It explores Penetcostal worship in the UK, and Michael is particularly interested in how media and technology shape the services, which are live streamed on the internet while attendees snap away on their smartphones.
He was also interested in the parallels between the churches and a club experience; both physical – many of the services took place in converted warehouses with dramatic lighting and booming music – and spiritual. “Both constitute an open, immersive space in which one can let go of the fixed face we hold in normal social situations,” Michael says. “The act of searching for God in Pentecostal worship – much like the act of dancing – represents an immersive and transgressive experience that transcends the banalities and ebbing pressures of daily life.”
This ability to articulate his aims so thoughtfully, and then realise them in such powerful, compelling pictures marks Michael out as a real talent, especially impressive when you consider he just this summer graduated from the University of Wales.
The format of the images make them difficult to fully appreciate here, but head over to his website for the full effect.