UK in the 70s is a group of photographs whilst living as a student in England; first in boarding school and later at an art school to pursue a UK photographer training. Getting sent to an English boarding school in the seventies resulted from parent’s not dealing with their children’s education for a myriad of reasons.
Sunday afternoon was a time of escape, from routine, from uniform, a time of search for leisure, conviviality, experimentation. The window of opportunity was precisely timed, from 2 -6 pm GMT. Part of the work week was used deciding what to do on Sunday afternoons and the logistics involved. We would find unusual places, walk the countryside and relax, enjoy that free time as best as we could. Here are some initial shots from Sunday afternoons. Sunday was a time deepening friendships and accomplice(ment). The colours are in Sunday noon colours ..
Existential photography · rememoration
Looking back at photos can have two sides, on one a rememoration of who was present / what was being done, and the possibility of re-rememorating in an effort to make sense, to build some sort of existential wholeness of ones life experience history, and this latter side, or path, seems so much more constructive and productive. The photograph tells you you where there, in or out of the scene – so at least some sort of complicity exists with what went on.
One of the wonderful things about boarding school is the informality with which we talked, communicated between peers. This was particularly useful to try out portraits of schoolmates in various settings. I’m sure a lot more are in the negative/slides stored and these will also eventually surface. Here are a few casual portraits made in varied settings.
This was a self-taught approach, with few books on photography in the art department [Family of Man, Bill Brandt and Exploring Photography (BBC series)] alongside many more art books. The contrasts, the reality, the spontaneity, the sharpness are all aspects I remember from that time. Here are the first few such (more or less) cases of what I call casual photographic portrait.