John Myers: Middle England

£15.00

John Myers: Middle England

This catalogue accompanies Middle England, Ikon’s 2012 exhibition of work by John Myers.

Essays by Paul Lewis, writer and photography specialist and Eugenie Shinkle, photographer writer and senior lecturer in Photographic Theory at the University of Westminster.

This was the first major exhibition by Midlands-based artist John Myers. Comprising black and white photographs made in the 1970s, Ikon’s selection included Middle England (1970–1974), a number of portraits of individuals and families living in and around Stourbridge and the Black Country.

Myers’ approach is documentary in style, reflecting the taste, self-perceptions and aspirations of the people he photographed. Thus we observe them in their sitting rooms and bedrooms, or in their leisure or work spaces, surrounded by the telling paraphernalia of their daily lives. They pose with deliberate stances and gestures, responding to the sense of occasion engendered by Myers’ use of a Gandolfi plate camera set on a tripod with a dark viewing cloth. As well as domestic interiors, occupied particularly by couples and women, we see the studio where a young girl attends ballet classes, the back yard where a boy plays football and a club where two men play snooker.

Myers chose to photograph people who lived within walking distance of his own home, and so he recorded the world as he knew it. A kind of natural history unfolds through Middle England, with its depictions of human life and habitats, significantly as the portraits are shown alongside an exceptional image of a giraffe in a zoo enclosure. This juxtaposition reminds us of the fact that we are shaped by our built environments, as much as we shape them.

£15.00

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