On display at 56 Brook Street, Mayfair will be his shortlisted portrait of six-year-old Joe Smart – nicknamed Strong Joe for his energy – alongside several stunning shots from his two-week trip to the Sierra Leonean village on behalf of the international charity.
For generations, villagers collected water from a stream in the jungle and faced the daily risk of disease and even death from drinking dirty water.
Last winter, in the space of just a few months and with the support of UK aid from British people, WaterAid helped every woman, man and child in the village gain access to clean water, decent toilets and hygiene knowledge as part of its Untapped campaign. Now, life in the community has been transformed.
“Projects like this are a dream for a photographer,” says Joey. “The time I spent in Tombohuaun with WaterAid was an unforgettable experience, to document the lives of its residents as they strive to take their place in the world after devastation and loss. I’m really excited to see the work displayed and to share the spirit I saw in Tombohuaun with people in London.”
The exhibition will give fans of Joey’s work the chance to see the full collection of portraits, buy prints and hear first-hand the inspiring stories behind the photos. Proceeds from the sale of 200 of the prints will go to WaterAid to help provide clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene to more communities around the world.
The exhibition opens on Friday 19 October and runs until Sunday 21 October at 56 Brook Street, Mayfair, W1K 5NE. Find out more: joeyl.com.
Mayama Mustafa, 60, women’s leader and village midwife, with the two children she looks after: Jeneba, left, and Nafisatu, her niece. She holds the savings bank that all women contribute to and share out. Tombohuaun, Kailahun Distrcit, Sierra Leone, May 2017. WaterAid/ Joey Lawrence
Sellu Smart, holding home-made fishing nets, made from leaves, in the village of Tombohuaun. Sellu spends at least half of his wages on healthcare for his family. If he didn’t have to he would develop his farm by increasing the yield, and do more business such as buying palm oil or selling clothes. Kailahun District, Sierra Leone, May 2017. WaterAid/ Joey Lawrence
Joe Smart, 6, known as ‘Strong Joe’, plays with his friends, outside his home in the village of Tombohuaun, Kailahun District, Sierra Leone, May 2017. WaterAid/ Joey Lawrence
Joe, 6, sitting on the lap of Mariatu, his mother, with the rest of the family posing for a group portrait, at their home in the village of Tombohuaun, Kailahun District, Sierra Leone, May 2017. WaterAid/ Joey Lawrence
Batu, 10, left, and Madie, 8, play in clean water at the pump in Tombohun, Sierra Leone, May 2017. WaterAid/ Joey Lawrence
Massa Kennie, holding home-made hooped nets used for fishing, in the village of Tombohuaun, Kailahun District, Sierra Leone, May 2017. WaterAid/ Joey Lawrence
Kempah Ginnah, 42, youth leader and mechanic with his own motorbike, in the village of Tombohuaun. Because he has a bike, he is asked to give people lifts to the health centre. Kailahun District, Sierra Leone, May 2017. WaterAid/ Joey Lawrence