12
Feb
12

Exhibition: ‘Daniel Meadows: Early Photographic Works’ at the National Science and Media Museum, Bradford

Exhibition dates: 30th September 2011 – 19th February 2012

 

Daniel Meadows. '25th wedding anniversary party. Farnborough Park, Kent. August 1985'

 

Daniel Meadows (British, b. 1952)
25th wedding anniversary party. Farnborough Park, Kent. August 1985
from Suburbia, 1984-1987
Gelatin silver print
© Daniel Meadows

 

 

In the 1970s, Daniel Meadows was at the forefront of the independent photography movement. His practice is complex, passionate and sometimes deeply autobiographical.

Daniel Meadows’ early work broke with tradition and infused the medium with new energies and ways of seeing. Between 1971 and 1987, he produced an astonishing record of urban society in Britain, working in a uniquely collaborative way through his interviews with – and writing about – his subjects.

Text from the National Science and Media Museum website

.
Many thankx to the National Media Museum, Bradford for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image. All pictures are copyright © Daniel Meadows except for the June Street, Salford which is copyright © Daniel Meadows and Martin Parr.

Daniel Meadows: Edited Photographs from the 70s and 80s authored by Val Williams

 

Daniel Meadows and Martin Parr. 'Untitled' from 'June Street, Salford', February-April 1973

 

Daniel Meadows (British, b. 1952) and Martin Parr (British, b. 1952)
Untitled
from June Street, Salford, February-April 1973
Gelatin silver print
© Daniel Meadows and Martin Parr

 

Daniel Meadows (British, b. 1952) and Martin Parr (British, b. 1952) From the series 'June Street, Salford', photographed in Salford 1973

 

Daniel Meadows (British, b. 1952) and Martin Parr (British, b. 1952)
From the series June Street, Salford, photographed in Salford
1973
Gelatin silver print
© Daniel Meadows and Martin Parr

 

Daniel Meadows. 'Brighton, Sussex. May 1974' from 'the Free Photographic Omnibus', 1973-1974

 

Daniel Meadows (British, b. 1952)
Brighton, Sussex. May 1974
from the Free Photographic Omnibus, 1973-1974
Gelatin silver print
© Daniel Meadows

 

Daniel Meadows. 'Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria'. Left: identified as James O'Connor. Right: David Balderstone. November 1974

 

Daniel Meadows (British, b. 1952)
Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria
Left: identified as James O’Connor. Right: David Balderstone
November 1974
from the Free Photographic Omnibus, 1973-1974
Gelatin silver print
© Daniel Meadows

 

Daniel Meadows (British, b. 1952) From 'the Free Photographic Omnibus' portrait series, photographed in Hulme, Manchester 1974

 

Daniel Meadows (British, b. 1952)
From the Free Photographic Omnibus portrait series, photographed in Hulme, Manchester
1974
Gelatin silver print
© Daniel Meadows

 

Daniel Meadows (British, b. 1952) From the series 'National Portraits: Now & Then'

 

Daniel Meadows (British, b. 1952)
From the series National Portraits: Now & Then, mother and son Susie and Peter Gatesy, Brighton, Sussex 1974 and London 2000
Gelatin silver print
© Daniel Meadows

 

Daniel Meadows (British, b. 1952) From the series 'National Portraits: Now & Then'

 

Daniel Meadows (British, b. 1952)
From the series National Portraits: Now & Then, twin brothers Michael (left) and Peter McParland, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, 1974 and 1995
Gelatin silver print
© Daniel Meadows

 

Daniel Meadows. 'The Free Photographic Omnibus' 1974

 

Daniel Meadows (British, b. 1952)
The Free Photographic Omnibus
1974
from the Free Photographic Omnibus, 1973-1974
© Daniel Meadows

 

Daniel Meadows. 'Untitled' from 'Butlin's Filey, Yorkshire', July-August 1972

 

Daniel Meadows (British, b. 1952)
Untitled
from Butlin’s Filey, Yorkshire, July-August 1972
© Daniel Meadows

 

Daniel Meadows (British, b. 1952) 'The Dome of Fun and Fortune' 1972

 

Daniel Meadows (British, b. 1952)
The Dome of Fun and Fortune
1972
From the series Butlin’s by the Sea, Filey, Yorkshire
© Daniel Meadows

 

 

The National Science and Media Museum presents the first retrospective of the career of Daniel Meadows – photographer, documentarian, digital storyteller and unofficial co-founder of a uniquely British photography movement. Daniel Meadows was one of a group of photographers who spearheaded the independent photography movement in the early 1970s, breaking with tradition and infusing the medium with new energies and ways of seeing. His practice is complex, passionate and sometimes deeply autobiographical.

Between 1971 and 1987, he produced an astonishing record of urban society in Britain, working in a uniquely collaborative way through his interviews with – and writing about – his subjects. Meadows is a documentarist and an exceptional storyteller. He reveals historic and culturally significant aspects of people’s lives, dating from the 1970s to the present day. This exhibition displays photographic works alongside oral testimonies by some of the people featured in the photographs and Digital Stories.

Meadows’ practice developed at Manchester Polythechnic, where he trained alongside fellow photographers Martin Parr, Brian Griffin, Charlie Meecham and Peter Fraser. Together they spearheaded a new documentary movement intent on establishing an independent method for making and disseminating photographs, outside the existing conventions of commercial practitioners and photojournalists. Meadows’ resulting work displays complexity and passion, and confers a personal and sometimes deeply autobiographical imprint. During his career he has produced an astonishing record of urban British society, working in a uniquely collaborative way, through photography, digital stories and recorded interviews, to capture extraordinary aspects of everyday life.

His career began in 1972, when he opened a photographic studio in a former barber’s shop in the Moss Side area of Manchester. The Shop on Greame Street features residents from the district who posed for a portrait which they then received free of charge. None has been previously exhibited, and a selection will be on public display for the first time from October.

Two further early projects are also included in the exhibition, both undertaken in partnership with Martin Parr. June Street, 1973, is an intimate portrayal of working class households in an area of Salford, which have since been demolished. Butlin’s by the Sea, 1972, presents a fascinating record of the holiday camp in Filey, North Yorkshire, just after the heyday of this style of British resort.

In 1973, Meadows, aged 21, also bought a 25-year-old Leyland PD1 double-decker bus for £360.20. He removed the seats to make space for a darkroom and living quarters and named it the Free Photographic Omnibus. He spent 14 months taking his Greame Street studio philosophy of free portraits on tour around England. Original photographs from the journey appear in the retrospective, along with a selection from a follow-up project in which Meadows sought out his Photobus subjects more than 20 years later to re-photograph them for National Portraits: Now and Then, 1995 – 2000.

Other notable works displayed include Decline in the Cotton Industry, 1975 – 1978, Welfare State International, 1976 – 1983, and Nattering in Paradise, 1984 – 1987. The gallery will also screen a selection of Meadows’ Digital Storytelling films. Condensing personal stories into two-minute features of approximately 250 heartfelt words and 12 images, he created “multimedia sonnets from the people”, leading American commentator J.D Lasica to call him “one of the icons of the Digital Storytelling movement.”

This exhibition and the accompanying publication is the product of research by Professor Val Williams as part of an ongoing study into British photography of 1970s and 1980s at the University of the Arts London. It is preceded by the research project, The New British Photography, 1968-1981, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Together Val Williams and Daniel Meadows have brought to light the photographer’s incredible archive of prints and negatives, along with ephemera and audio recordings. They have unearthed unpublished and sometimes forgotten treasures which add to a remarkable document – a dramatic, moving and empathetic evocation of a recognisable, yet increasingly alien era.

Press release from the National Science and Media Museum website

 

 

Daniel Meadows: Early Photographic Work

 

 

Daniel Meadows (British, b. 1952)
Foster mother and children
1972
from the free photographic studio on Greame Street, Moss Side, Manchester, February-April 1972
Gelatin silver print
© Daniel Meadows

 

 

Daniel Meadows (British, b. 1952)
Portrait of Angela Loretta Lindsey, aged 8, with her brother Mark Emanuel Lindsey
1972
from the free photographic studio on Greame Street, Moss Side, Manchester, February-April 1972
Gelatin silver print
© Daniel Meadows

 

 

Daniel Meadows (British, b. 1952)
Hell’s Angels
1972
from the free photographic studio on Greame Street, Moss Side, Manchester, February-April 1972
Gelatin silver print
© Daniel Meadows

 

 

Daniel Meadows (British, b. 1952)
Untitled
1972
from the free photographic studio on Greame Street, Moss Side, Manchester, February-April 1972
Gelatin silver print
© Daniel Meadows

 

Daniel Meadows (British, b. 1952) From 'The Shop on Greame Street' portrait series, Moss Side, Manchester 1972

 

Daniel Meadows (British, b. 1952)
From The Shop on Greame Street portrait series, Moss Side, Manchester
1972
Gelatin silver print
© Daniel Meadows

 

 

National Science and Media Museum
Bradford,
West Yorkshire,
BD1 1NQ

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Sunday 10.00 – 18.00

National Science and Media Museum website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Dogs, chickens, cattle’ 1994-95

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