The Hyman Collection of British Photography has a number of works which take as their setting the streets of Britain. At times what is captured is an unguarded moment but often the photographer explores the performative element of what is shown and foregrounds the relationship between the camera and the subject.
Queen and Country
The Hyman Collection includes many works which present folk customs, constructions of national identity and that address forms of patriotism and nationalism. At their centre is the flag and references to royalty, prime ministers and the establishment.
A central thread of the Hyman Collection is intimacy. Pictures of children are a leitmotif since the earliest days of photography and the collection includes a range of responses to childhood with a particular emphasis on works in which there is an evident closeness or familiairty between photographer and subject. The theme runs through the British photography in the Hyman Collection from Bill Brandt to the present.
Spitting Image. Margaret Thatcher and the Golden Age of Political Satire
The 1980s under the premiership of Margaret Thatcher was one of the most divisive decades in twentieth centruy British history. A decade of enormous cultural, social, political and economic change, this was the context in which many of the greatest British photographers of the last half century established their practice and developed forms of subject documentary photography to address a society in flux. It was an age of powerful political satire from the puppets of Spitting Image to the pages of Private Eye.