28 Mar Photography Exhibition – Vanley Burke ‘Photographing Birmingham’ (1968-2011)
Photography Exhibition – Vanley Burke: ‘Photographing Birmingham‘ (1968-2011) – Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. 10th February-1st July 2018
‘Vanley Burke is one of the most important British photographers. He was born in Jamaica and arrived in Birmingham in 1965 aged 15. Here he began photographing the lives and experiences of the African Caribbean community. His work has been described as the greatest photographic document of Caribbean people in post-war Britain…’ Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.
Photographer, Jason Florio (check out his amazing work here on the site) and I had the great pleasure to meet and spend some time, talking all things photography (what else?!), with Vanley, in his hometown of Birmingham, UK, in 2016. Furthermore, we came away from that meeting the proud owners of one of Vanley’s photography books: ‘At Home with Vanley Burke 2015’, signed by the author. Huge thanks, Vanley!
As a teenager, growing up in a similar multi-national community, in nearby Leicester, I spent a lot of time with local friends in Birmingham. Live music and boys being the main draw, back then! Therefore, Vanley’s work resonates greatly, with me. However, I don’t think that one necessarily has to have lived in such an urban environment, to appreciate the photographer’s work which captures ‘the poignant and everyday moments of life‘. Go see for yourself.
The photographs in this display are part of a series of 100 works known as ‘Rivers of Birminam’.
‘His body of work represents possibly the largest photographic record of the Caribbean Diaspora in Britain, and as an avid collector, Vanley continues to connect histories through his substantial archive housed at the Library of Birmingham. From local community organisations to the Victoria & Albert Museum and Whitechapel, Vanley has exhibited widely in the United Kingdom, and as far afield as New York, South Africa, and China.’ Read/see more on Vanley Burke’s website
An incredible body of work, from a truly inspiring man and photographer. Suffice to say, I hope we get to see the exhibition and to have a cuppa with Mr. Burke again when we are in the UK next.
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