Renowned magnum photographer Ian Berry’s black and white photographs from his project ‘The English’ (1974-1975) opens at Lucy Bell gallery in St Leonards.
‘I set out to record what I saw professionally…but in spite of a journalistic purpose I am drawn to visual situations.’ Ian Berry from the Foreword to The English book.
For the first time in 40 years Lucy Bell Gallery is proud to exhibit over 50 black and white photographs by Magnum photographer Ian Berry from his long-term project ‘The English’.
The project was originally supported by the first Arts Council Photography Bursary, and was later published as a book for which Berry photographed the English at work and at play between 1974-75. This new exhibition includes previously unseen and unpublished images from the project.
The exhibition ‘The English’ is an important body of work and is a sensitive and highly personal exploration of England and English life from the perspective of a Magnum documentary photographer who grew up in the North of England, but had spent a substantial part of his life abroad, particularly in South Africa.
40 years later, this series of images forms a unique collection by a photographer who captured a time, now passed, and an era when there was far greater freedom to create photographs. At the time Berry noted: ‘England is the easiest country in the world in which to take photographs—in the way people react or rather do not react in the photographer’s presence.’
These images, explore the English at work and at play, they explore the eccentricities and humour of the English, while others portray, with an intimate delicacy, the fragility of what it is to be human.
Photographer Zak Waters says of Ian Berry’s work, “Ian Berry is the most naturally gifted photographer I have ever met. He has an uncanny knack of creating images from where most photographers would not find one. Most people are unaware that he is probably more comfortable taking vertical images rather than the more natural horizontal format, which in itself is a challenge away from, say, portraiture. Ian’s images have helped define certain aspects of history”
Ian Berry was born in Preston, Lancashire and made his reputation in South Africa, where he worked for the Sunday Times and later for Drum magazine. He was the only photographer to document the massacre at Sharpeville and his photographs were used in the trial to prove the victims’ innocence. Ian Berry was invited by Henri Cartier-Bresson to join Magnum Photos in 1962 when he was based in Paris.
Berry has travelled the world documenting major social and political events. He has worked for (among others) the Observer, Geo, Paris Match, Stern, Life and Fortune. He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally and produced several books. Notable awards include the first ever Nikon Photographer of the Year and British Press Magazine Photographer of the Year.
All photographs on show are for sale and have been specially printed by Ian Berry using the new digital techniques however there are some rare vintage prints also available to buy and view.
Signed prints are for sale:
- 20 x 16” Signed Digital prints £950
- 20 x 16” Signed silver gelatin prints £1500
- 16 x 12” Signed silver gelatin vintage prints £2000
- 16 x 12” Signed Digital prints £650
All images (c) Ian Berry / Magnum
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