Anna Fox

The Hyman Collection is the most significant collection in the world of the work of Anna Fox. The collection includes major series in their entirety, editioned works, and unique exhibition sets.

In 1986 Anna Fox began a career as a documentary photographer chronicling new town life in Basingstoke 86/87 (locally known as 'Doughnut City') and going on in 1988 to publish the monograph Work Stations, a study of London Office life in Thatcher's Britain. Using images and texts, parodying the style of magazine journalism, these two bodies of work posited a satirical view of contemporary Southern England. These works were exhibited extensively as far a field as Brazil and Estonia and established Fox's name as a significant figure within the field of new colour documentary. Inclusion of her work in Through the Looking Glass, at the Barbican Art Gallery in 1989 curated by David Mellor and Ian Jeffrey confirmed this position.

In later projects, made in the 1990's In Pursuit (1990), The Village (1991-1992 Cross Channel Photographic Mission commission), Friendly Fire (1992) and Zwarte Piet (the Netherlands 1994-1999) Fox created a new direction inventing innovative approaches and raising questions regarding the problems of documentary practice. In the essay Bal Masqué Dutch theorist Mieke Bal talks about how the images do more than document: that they work through and with the subject opening up new space for debate and thought.

'Anna Fox's photographs, humorous and tender, ironic and identifying, are powerful in the way they offer art as a means to face this need (the need to identify the issue) head on. her images avoid the two most predictable attitudes a project like this might succumb to: the endorsement of reiteration and the moralism of indictment'.

These projects were exhibited in a number of solo exhibitions including The Photographers Gallery, London and The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago as well as in significant group shows such as Documentary Dilemmas (British Council- world touring) and Warworks, Victoria & Albert Museum, Nederlands Foto Insitute, Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography.


By early 2000 Fox produced two autobiographical works: Cockroach Diary and My Mother's Cupboards and My Father's Words which completely turned on its head the notion of the documentary photographer as outsider, these new works investigated the personal and difficult world of domestic households and relationships bringing together a mix of image and text in two miniature book works. Later in 2003 the series Made in Europe questioned further the power relation between subject and photographer by handing over power to the subject the work portrayed a vision of contemporary Europe through the eyes and voices of teenagers.

The projects Country Girls (1996-2001) and Pictures of Linda (1983-ongoing) introduced a collaborative element to Fox's practice: by working in partnership with the singer/songwriters Alison Goldfrapp and Linda Lunus the relationship between subject and photographer was being explored from a new perspective. The exhibition Cockroach Diary and other Stories, Impressions Gallery 2008, explored installation as an integral part of Fox's practice and how through this installation the viewer could be engaged in a different way than in a conventional photographic exhibition space.

Fox's solo shows have been seen at The Photographer's Gallery, London, The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago amongst others and her work has been included in numerous international group shows including - From Tarzan to Rambo at Tate Modern; Centre of the Creative Universe: Liverpool and the Avant Garde at Tate Liverpool and How We Are: Photographing Britain at Tate Britain. Numerous monographs of her work are in print and a major monograph Anna Fox Photographs 1983 - 2007 was published by Photoworks in 2007 edited by Val Williams. Anna Fox was shortlisted for the 2010 Deutsche Borse Photography Prize and the 2012 Pilar Citoler Prize. Her latest project BLINK is published by Central St Martins.

Since joining the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) in 2004 Professor Fox has been actively involved in promoting and developing the research activities of the Photography department. Investment has been made in the research cluster The BookRoom, and the research project Fast Forward; Women in Photography for which Fox won a major International Networks Award from the Leverhulme Trust

Fox has also supported other significant international research initiatives and curriculum development with partners such as the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad where she successfully gained two PMI2 awards, a major UKIERI award for collaborative MFA Photography course delivery and student exchanges in India as well as further UKIERI awards for research collaboration between UCA, NID and International Center for Photography (ICP), NY. She is the co editor and writer of Langford's Basic Photography and Behind the Image (both Taylor Francis)


Anna Fox / British Photography / The Hyman Collection

Anna Fox

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