Photojournalism – retrospectives

Two features on British documentary in one week! One on the BBC news website about an exhibition on the miners strike at the National Coal Mining Museum for England, at Caphouse Colliery near Wakefield, Yorkshire. ‘No Redemption’ is a body of work by Keith Pattison who was commissioned to photograph the miners strike at Easington Colliery in Co Durham for month but stayed until the end of the end of the strike 8 months later documenting events from the miners perspective.

The second feature is a blog post in The Guardian online about Chris Killip’s new exhibition – in Germany. Sean O’Hagan, author of the post argues that Chris Killip is one of Britain’s great photojournalists, comparing him to Tony Ray-Jones, Graham Smith, Chris Steele-Perkins and Brian Griffin and suggesting that Killip should surely be having this major retrospective here in the UK.

As a photography student at Trent Polytechnic many years ago I remember a visit by Chris Killip whose powerful, uncompromising and distinctive style was just becoming noticed; this was pre Thatcher so before ‘In Flagrante’, his best known book, was published – and a while too before irony suffused documentary photography. There’s a good post with a display of some of the pages of this book and some interesting comments on his techniques on Simon Robert’s blog.

Back to Sean O’Hagan’s post – “Surely… a group retrospective of the above-named pioneers of British photojournalism is long overdue?”. Yes indeed.

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