#ArtThursdays: Chris Killip Retrospective Exhibition at The Photographers' Gallery London

For this week's #ArtThursday we had a look at the Chris Killip's Retrospective Exhibition at the The Photographers' Gallery.

Chris Killip's documented the lives of those affected by the economic shifts in the North of England, throughout the 1970s and 80s, which has made him one of the most influential figures of British Photography.

 Killip first attempted to photograph the beach at Lynemouth, Northumberland, in 1976, only to be chased away by men on horse-drawn carts wary of any stranger.

He's hoped to photograph as winter tides returned the waste coal expelled into the sea from a nearby mine. After attempts over several years were met with a violent rejection, Killip's eventual acceptance came in 1982, when visiting a pub the seacoalers frequented to make a final plea.

A man recognised him as the Manx photographer he'd given tea and shelter to during a rainstorm at Appleby Horse Fair, and confirmed Killip's intentions were good.

In Winter 1983, believing his photographs felt too 'remote', Killip acquired a caravan of his own, and moved it on the beach. Despite storms and snow, he could not photograph at will, in accordance with the rhythms of life on the camp itself.

Youth on wall, Jarrow, Tyneside, 1975

Killip tempers the extreme conditions of work with intimacy, kinship, and the quiet dignities of family life - so much so, that 'photography' seems hardly involved.

Bever, Skinningrove, North Yorkshire, 1983 - Chris Killip

Perhaps that's what Killip liked so much when, years later, he recalled the words of a seacoaler Brian Laidler, '...the commandment: love one another. It's not a bad idea, is it Chris?'

 Cookie in the snow, Seacoal Camp, Lynemouth, Northumbria, 1984 - Chris Killip




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