All posts filed under: Early work

Our rosy coloured past. Hmmm.

This picture is of a house in front of one of the gas holders at Saltley Gasworks in Nechells, Birmingham. The image was taken in the late 60’s. I was born just a couple hundred metres from here, within sight, or more accurately within ‘Smell’ of the gasworks. My dad worked there after he came back from fighting with the Desert Rats, Montgomery’s 8th army, in second world war. What’s more, those gas holders were nearly the death of him. He fell off one and survived, but that’s another story. This image is a picture of my youth. Although my parents moved to the newly built council estates out in the suburbs, many of my relatives lived in or around this area. I would return often as a child. What this image made me think about was just how much of a product I am of the social and political thrust occurring after the 2nd world war. I am the product of the time and of the policies of Labour, the  political party in power …

Fairground attraction 1970’s

Back in the late 1970’s, I would wander around my home city of Birmingham, camera in hand. At the time it was all Black-and-White work, self-developed and printed in a makeshift darkroom. I had different cameras to choose from, nothing exotic. I used twin lens reflex and 35mm. These images were from my 35mm camera probably on *400asa film hence the grain. *(I must check as I have the original negatives somewhere) The images below were from a sojourn to an impromptu fairground, many popped up like this around the city. This one appeared in Hay Mills, adjacent to the A45 near to Small Heath.

Skin Heads. Birmingham, ’70’s/’80’s

Recently, I was trying to decide on a picture to put in place at home. Knowing Sue, my wife likes this image I decided on this. It was taken at Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham in the late ’70s, maybe very early ’80s. It shows two of a group of Skin Heads standing on the Waltzers, a fairground ride at the ‘Tulip Festival’.  Both are wearing tight Levi jeans and ‘Doc Marten’ boots, one with a ‘Ben Sherman’ check shirt and with a ‘Crombie style’ overcoat over. And each, of course with the required shaved head haircut, Various pins and badges are worn on the lapels, one being a Nazi Swastika. On occasion, wrongly I’ve printed it without the badge. I print it here without any editing – as I believe it should be. The image portrayed by the skinheads is underlined by the “Love and Hate” tattoo across the knuckles of each hand further enhancing the anarchic, hard man ‘Fuck you’  image they choose to put out. It is a picture of its time reflecting, as it …

New project pages

I’ve been rationalising these pages recently. I’ve included a section on the site called “Projects and Series” . You can see it top right in the heading navigation. This leads to a page providing links to the different projects and series I’ve been working on (and continue to do so). Some of the pictures in these sections date back to the late 1960’s – early 1970’s.  I hope you enjoy them all. PDBarton Lincoln 2018  

Tommy Mesham riding an Indian Motorcycle on the Wall of Death 1970's

It was the wall of death that did it.

Back in the late 70’s I was at the Tulip Festival in Birmingham’s Cannon Hill Park. There was a Wall of Death booth. I was fascinated. I had my camera with me and I took a few frames. This being the one that worked. I used a friends darkroom to print the image. The picture came out of the liquid in the red light.  It was probably the first picture I had made which had that ‘quality’ to it. That certain something I had seen in the pictures of others. I loved it and still do. Is it my favourite? As Elliot Erwitt says when asked about his favourite picture  “I hope I haven’t taken it yet”. And that’s the case with me. Still trying after all these years. Peter Barton.