PHOTOGRAPHS of people who all turned 40 last year will go on display next month. The portraits have been taken by Bradford photographer Shy Burhan, who embarked on the project after her own 40th birthday.

Called ‘Forty’, the exhibition features 40 ‘shychetype’ portraits, each one reflecting something about the individual and their life story. Pictured is Kirsty Ferguson who, at the age of 13, was 6ft tall and a size 18. "She always felt like she didn’t fit in her with more petite peers - but she would now go back and tell that same teenager that she looks okay," says Shy. "I made her into a sleeping beauty, combining her love of sleeping and camping."

Others included in the exhibition include Helen Kirkbright, wearing a Chelsea football shirt, reflecting her love of the club, and holding an atlas, representing her passion for travel; Phil Wilman, whose love of music, especially his collection of vintage LPs, helps him achieve a work-life balance; and Becky Coombes, who overcome a drug addiction with the support of family and friends.

Says Shy: "I have been fortunate to once again work with Anne McNeill, director of the Impressions Gallery in Bradford, who jhas helped me choose the final 40 images and who has proved to be very much a mentor to me throughout this whole process. Also, I'm delighted to be collaborating with Holding Space again who are hosting the exhibition. And I’m delighted to be working with Jon King, founder of Envisuals, who has been filming the project throughout and will be there on the opening night to record the launch."

* Forty runs at Holding Space, John Street, Saltaire, from February 1 to May 21.