The idea of putting on your fanciest frock for church might not be as common nowadays, but the process of dressing in a specially selected garment to partake in certain activities is as widespread as church attendance was 100 years ago. The aptly named Sunday Best by Jonathan Turner and Tim Neal brings together photographs and sound recordings of individuals, families and communities dressed for specific occasions – whether that be church, Eid or a night out.
Focusing on Burngreave and Sheffield city centre, the duo visited an array of communities to explore how people use clothing to create identity and a sense of belonging. Turner’s photographs are bold, bright and beautiful. There is pride in the subjects’ eyes as they stare down the lens; people feel bolstered by being part of a community.
In the group photographs it is possible to identify similarities in dress. Three men stand together at a Roma Slovak birthday party, all three of them wear white trousers and shirts with shiny black shoes and short cropped hair – even their stance and facial expressions match. As a counterpoint to the men, the next image along captures three women on a night out. Like the men, their poses are the same; gold hoops hang from their ears and perfectly manicured nails hold clutch bags. It is clear that these people belong together, this is their tribe.