Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazingly compassionate body of work, 20 May 2011
This review is from: In England (Hardcover)
I'm a huge fan of McCullin, and an even bigger admirer, not only of his talent and eye as a photographer, but also of his humanity and humility as a person. He grew up in Finsbury Park in London in the 50s, the preface of the book is the frame through which we begin to see "how" McCullin views the world. His mother would scrub clothes clean for him, clothes which had been dumped on the pavement in the market "If you use that anger you can make something of your life."
His work is impassioned and honest. Most people know Mccullin for his war-photography, but here "In England" he turns his camera towards his own place of birth, including the people he knows: we see alternately the social divide, riots, poverty, privilege. The photographs become a static film-strip, recording a true, lived history in their gritty, dark, black and white honesty. I think you would be hard as nails not to be moved by what you see. The beggars on the streets in London, crowded round fruit boxes burning for heat. At ground level, we see high-heeled feet walking past human bundles curved embryonically huddling for shelter on concrete steps of doorways, peeled paint, rubbish sacks, litter strewn all over the streets.
A hard time. There's Mosley, potato pickers, gypsies, satanic mills, Glyndebourne, Sandhurst, the Guvnors (his local gang from the 50s), and more.
".. Well-educated, capable people fall because they have no horizon. I never feel I have arrived at some destination. There is always something ahead, another horizon." I once had ambition and longing myself, to be a war-photographer, then my life took me in another direction, but I completely associate with his endless striving for the next thing in life. There is always another corner to turn, a hill to climb and a sea to ride... and time ALWAYS to make a difference to those around you. Buy this book for yourself and then buy copies for your friends. You'll be edifying your life and theirs too.
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