A KEIGHLEY youngster is among 90 girls who took part in a pioneering project exploring their transition through childhood.

Made across six years, Being Inbetween features a striking series of portraits taken by award-winning Saltaire photographer Carolyn Mendelsohn.

Through photography and interviews, she focused on their hopes, fears and aspirations during the potentially-defining period of their lives.

Now the most extensive exhibition of the portraits to date is at Bradford’s Impressions Gallery. Although the venue is currently closed due to lockdown, the display is online.

And the gallery’s youth collective, New Focus, has met three of the girls in Being Inbetween to make a short film – called Girl Power – sharing their powerful stories.

Amongst them is Alice, from Keighley, who chose to be filmed outside a bookshop in Haworth because she’s a budding author inspired by the Brontes.

She said: “My portrait was taken when I was 11 years old, I’m now 13.

“I want to work in a special school because I would like to help children who are different – help them get through and let them know that they’re not alone.

“I have craniosynostosis. When I was a baby the bones in my head had already fused together. When I was six months old I had to have an operation and another when I was one.

“I think my portrait shows that I’m strong and just because I’ve got a disability, it doesn’t make me different from anyone else.”

Amaira, 14, who also features in the footage, is an aspiring lawyer and was filmed outside Bradford Crown Court. She has a passion for equality.

She says: “It started when I became more awake to the news and issues around the world, like people experiencing racial attacks and inequality attacks.

“My hopes for the future are that the world will change and begin to love other people’s differences, but my fear is that the world will become more segregated and that people will just get less of a voice.”

Anne McNeill, director of Impressions Gallery and curator of Being Inbetween, described the project as “a significant and inclusive portrait of our times”.

She added: “These remarkable photographs are playful, yet serious; and while they are a record of our uncertain times, they are, in another way, timeless.

“We have been blown away by these articulate and inspiring girls.

“If they are ‘permitted’ to be who they are and what they want to be, then society and humanity will be safe in their hands.”

Carolyn says: “This work is my way of exploring the lives of these girls, giving them power and allowing their voices to be heard.

“It is celebrating the beauty that is wholly them, one that is sometimes concealed in silence, attitude, embarrassment and self-consciousness.”

Girl Power is funded by Bradford Council, Bradford UNESCO City of Film and Bradford 2025 as part of their Make Film programme, and supported by Arts Council England.

To watch the film or see the exhibition, go to impressions-gallery.com.