British Photography in the 1980s

04 May 2019

SIG: Contemporary

The one-day seminar "British Photography in the 1980s", held on 27 April 2019 at the Martin Parr Foundation, was a sell-out, with around 100 attendees. There were five speakers. Anna Fox presented her published project ‘Workstations’ and a selection from her studies of Basingstoke. Jem Southam took attendees through the journey shown in his book ‘The Red River’. Karen Knoor showed her projects ‘Gentlemen’, about London gentlemen’s clubs and ‘Belgravia’, plus more recent work ‘Indian Song’: buildings in India with various wild animals inserted into the images. Paul Graham chose to only show projects made strictly in the 1980s, comprising his A1 North Road series starting at the Bank of England and finishing in a car showroom in Edinburgh, his work taken in DHSS benefit claim offices and ‘Troubled Land’, made during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Chris Killip had created his talk as a pre-recorded video, as earlier this year he had been advised not to travel by air (in common with Paul Graham, he now lives in the US), although as it turned out, he was able to be present. He presented his work made in the North East, particularly the sea coalers, originally published in 1988, titled ‘In Flagrante’, and reprinted by Steidl in 2015.

photo by Chris Killip, ‘Bever, Skinningrove, North Yorkshire

By Brian Steptoe, RPS Contemporary Group, Events and Publicity