All posts tagged: Birmingham

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 …

Leonardo da Vinci in Birmingham​.

Birmingham Art Gallery and Museum, along with 11 other venues, is currently hosting an exhibition of the work of Leonardo da Vinci. There are 12 works being exhibited in Birmingham, all from the Royal Collection, and 12 in each of the other venues, that is 144 works being shown across the country. The event in Birmingham is free; no tickets required. Just show up. I visited, with our daughter Kate,  mid-afternoon on Monday 25th Feb. There was no queue; contrary to Kate’s previous visit of a few days before when she waited for an hour and a half. I’m not sure what I expected but I was surprised by what met my gaze. The images are wonderfully rendered drawings, sketches even. Acutely observed and flawlessly made in charcoal and sepia. In the main, they are light, airy and elegant. I suppose at over 500 years old the degradation in the medium is to be expected, and yet that seems to add to the evanescence of the pieces. But, it’s the size which surprises the most. …

That was the year that was 2018

As the calendar year draws to a close there is a temptation to take stock of where you’ve come from, how the journey has been and where you have arrived at. So here goes… This has been a year of change. I suppose you could say that about most years, but I do feel this year has been about re-evaluation and change. Simplification and stripping back have been recurrent themes running through most of what I have done over the past 4 years but none more so than this year. That extends to camera gear, clothes (though don’t take the ‘stripping back’ too literally here), car, the accoutrements of daily life even my watch; all becoming as simple as possible. Simplification even changed our travel destinations. Sue and I haven’t travelled long-distance this year. No trips to the far-flung. Southern Spain and Greece have been our chosen countries this year. That, in itself, was a sizeable change. However, more significantly, photographically I have been working on other projects. For those who are curious: I have …

Victorian cast iron men's urinals under railway​ arches. Central Birmingham. Late 1970's

I talked yesterday of beauty in decay…

Yesterday  I reviewed the book ‘Beauty in Decay’. I mentioned in that review I was interested in this as a subject myself. I have very little work to show in this genre, despite being involved in urban renewal myself, which inevitably meant the destruction of these buildings. Way back then, sadly,  I didn’t carry a camera wherever I went. That’s a great regret to me – and should be a lesson to us all. However, in the mid to late 70’s I did get the occasional frame which indicated my leanings in this direction. I post three here. I hope they interest you. At an exhibition of some of my work back in the 70’s a critic said I was from the “dustbin school”. I was offended back then, I would take that as a compliment today. The image at the top of the page shows a Victorian, cast iron, men’s urinal in central Birmingham. It was placed underneath the railway arches on the approaches to New St Station, near to the Bullring. I returned …