Chris Steele-Perkins

There’s an interview with Magnum photographer Chris Steele-Perkins in the current issue of the RPS Journal (March 2009) where Steele-Perkins discusses a retrospective of his work shot in England, which he is currently editing.

Apparently the project will collect material shot during the course of Steele-Perkins’ career, from his student work, to what he is shooting now. “I’ve not been interested in doing retrospective books”, he says, “but I realised I’ve been photographing England for about 40 years. If I’ve got three picture from every year, that’s 120 pictures.”

Looking through this huge body of work, he says, themes emerge of which he was only vaguely aware hitherto. “I’ll probably run it chronologically”, he tells David Land, “because it’s interesting to see a theme re-appearing over time in slightly different ways.”

“This is the first time I’ve looked back. I’m trawling through my old contact sheets, and finding images that haven’t been printed up, that were lost, or put into the Magnum system and forgotten about. It’s interesting, because you forget about the stories you’ve done, but it’s also tedious: you do shoot a lot of muck, and are reminded of all those mediocre pictures you’ve shot.”

The book will published by Northumbria University Press. Hopefully it will include some of these (not mediocre) photographs taken from his previous publications, The Teds (1979, re-published by Dewi Lewis, 2003) and The Pleasure Principle (Cornerhouse, 1995).

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