Sign of the Times. Word and Image in British Photography

Tattooist. Portsmouth. April 1974

Daniel Meadows

Tattooist. Portsmouth. April 1974

Vintage Gelatin Silver Print

20.96 x 20.32 cms (8.24 x 7.99 ins)

1974

HC 10479

Provenance

Bill Jay
Stephen Bulger Gallery, Canada

Exhibited

The British Are Coming: Tony Ray-Jones, Daniel Meadows, Chris Coekin, Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, Canada, 2007

Literature

Daniel Meadows, Living Like This. Around Britain in the Seventies. Written and photographed by Daniel Meadows, Arrow Books, 1975. Illustrated p. 64

Inscribed above the image in blue ink Tattooist. Portsmouth. April 1974

Stamped on the reverse Copyright Daniel Meadows. Free Photographic Omnibus. Great Washbourne, Tewkesbury, GL20 7AR Tel. 024262 205

In Living Like This, Daniel Meadows' important first book, this picture is included on the section on 'the South' of England and reproduced on page 64 along with a text about Ron Ackers, the tattooist.

Daniel Meadows in his funding proposal for his travels across England in the Free Photographic Omnibus suggested a sociological project that would update Sir Benjamin Stone's remarkable project a century earlier. The resulting project does reveal such a legacy, but photographs such as Tattooist also suggest another profound influenceL Diane Arbus. This can be felt in terms of subject matter, composition, frequent use of a square format, and dramatic lighting. In 1969 Arbus had travelled to Brighton where she photographed the local bikers for a feature for Nova magazine, filled with brooding, heavily printed portraits, entitled "Get to know your local Rocker" (Nova, September 1969). Arbus's death in 1971 was followed by a major monograph by Aperture in 1972 and a huge international touring exhibition which included the Hayward Gallery in London and the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham in 1974. The cover of Living Like This, depicting two young women, frontally posed can even be seen as a perky English riposte to the photograph of twin girls on the cover of the Arbus monograph.

Prior to the Arbus exhibition photography had barely featured in British public galleries, but this exhibition and the few other photography shows that were put on prior to Meadows's Living Like This, provide a context for his approach. These included Henri Cartier-Bresson at the V & A in 1969, Tony Ray-Jones at the ICA in 1969, Bill Brandt at the Hayward in 1970, and Atget at the ICA in 1971.


Daniel Meadows / British Photography / The Hyman Collection

Daniel Meadows

Tattooist. Portsmouth. April 1974

Vintage Gelatin Silver Print

20.96 x 20.32 cms (8.24 x 7.99 ins)

1974

HC 10479

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