Touch-Line: Exeter Chiefs fans, Sandy Park Stadium (photograph)


Michelle Sank’s work has been described as ‘visual anthropology’. She is fascinated by how signs and symbols have been adopted as expressions of identity and belonging. In rugby, the photographer found a rich source of material.

Sank documents the colours and flags that signify loyalty and the mascots and figures – a pig’s head, an ‘Indian’ headdress – invested with superstition and magic.

At the same time, Sank explores our experimentation with cultural symbols and codes: a women’s rugby team dressed in pink tutus or a group of male rugby fans dressed in women’s clothing.

This object is not on display.

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