The great British enthusiast

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The Independent Culture

Plane spotters, chess champions, marathon runners and historical re-enactors are just a few of the British ‘enthusiasts’ captured through the lens of street photographer Matt Stuart.

Stuart’s photographs, which capture varying degrees of enthusiasm, from idle hobbies to out-and-out obsessions, are a charming portrait of British community spirit across a range of areas, societal spectrums and demographics.

“Stuart has the ability to tell incredible stories through photography,” Louise Clemens, artistic director of the Quad, where Stuart’s work is on display until January.

“He captures incredible fleeting and absurd moments in every day and has the ability to see the extraordinary in the ordinary.”

The exhibition comes after Stuart won the Vauxhall Collective bursary, a scheme supporting art and design in the UK, and was commissioned by Vauxhall.

He travelled throughout Britain snapping participants in the 1645 Battle of Basing re-enactment in Basingstoke, following cyclists in fancy dress, getting to know young chess players and recording many more British pastimes.

Click here or on the image above to view Stuart's work

The Great British Enthusiasts, a photographic exhibition by Vauxhall Collective member Matt Stuart, runs at Derby Quad until January 2011. For more information