on 9 March 2009
In 2008-9 the Arts Council exhibition on which this book is based will visit Wales (twice - Cardiff and Aberystwith), Carlisle, Leeds, Penzance and Newcastle, as well as Poland and Sweden. Not London though, as unlike in say Paris or New York there seems little interest in the english capital in a close look at the photography of only a few years past, british naturalistic and documentary photography 1967-87 in this case. Some of the work is still well known because of the current profile of the photographers - Chris Killip, Martin Parr, John Davies, Keith Arnatt and Ian Berry are examples; but others, perhaps with a lower current profile, produced equally exciting work at that time - Tish Murtha, Christine Voge and Martin McCormick are examples. The work of all these, and others, and all drawn from the Arts Council's collection, is represented in this volume, together with a useful chronology and critical essay by the curator David Mellor. A minus for the book, although not I imagine for the exhibition, is the variable quality of the printing of the images - some is excellent but some is definitely not. A rich seam has been mined.
on 5 September 2009
Without any doubt some of the finest documentary work ever produced in this country is present here, Killip, Meadows, Parr et al are all present and very much on form.
However the printing in this book is much like the printing in the actual exhibition, shoddy and an insult the the photographers featured. I have been lucky enough to see these images printed right and to have met some of those who's work is here, in fact without Killip I would never have become a photographer, and this is a poor relation of their work.
If you want a starting point in the greats of British doc phot then start here, but please spread your wings after ward and explore their work as it should be seen.