Chris Killip retrospective opens at The Photographers' Gallery in London

Chris Killip exhibition at The Photographers' Gallery 2022
Gordon in the water, Seacoal Beach, Lynemouth,1983 (Image credit: Chris Killip Photography Trust/Magnum Photos)

Autumn at The Photographers Gallery in London is shaping up to be a complete feast for your eyes. From October 8 - February 19, two brand new exhibitions will be on show at TPG: Chris Killip, retrospective and An Alternative History of Photography: Works from the Solander collection.

Chris Killip is one of the UK’s most influential post-war documentary photographers. Known for his documentation of the deindustrialization’s savage destruction in the Tyneside area, his black-and-white photos became synonymous with their suffering. Even today, his involvement in these communities shines a light on the economic shifts they faced and his never-ending compassion for the people he photographed is apparent through his stark but tender observations. 

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From his early days working on the Isle of Man where he was born, Killip sought to portray communities of industry and their experiences. Despite some of the harsh conditions he witnessed in the shipbuilding and coal mining towns, he was always struck by the sense of togetherness and often stuck around long enough to experience their losses.

Chris Killip exhibition at The Photographers' Gallery 2022

Bever, Skinningrove, N. Yorkshire, 1983 (Image credit: Chris Killip Photography Trust/Magnum Photos)

Chris Killip exhibition at The Photographers' Gallery 2022

Cookie in the snow, Seacoal Camp, Lynemouth, Northumbria, 1984 (Image credit: Chris Killip Photography Trust/Magnum Photos)

Family on a Sunday walk, Skinningrove, 1982 (Image credit: Chris Killip Photography Trust/Magnum Photos)

Youth on wall, Jarrow, Tyneside, 1975 (Image credit: Chris Killip Photography Trust/Magnum Photos)

Chris Killip exhibition at The Photographers' Gallery 2022

Father and son watching a parade, West-end of Newcastle, Tyneside, 1980 (Image credit: Chris Killip Photography Trust/Magnum Photos)

Killip died in 2020 leaving behind a legacy and many unseen photos - several of which will be on show. Described by Martin Parr as a key player in British photography, Killip’s work lives on through this exhibition carefully curated by Tracy Marshall-Grant and Ken Grant. 

Opening on the same day, An Alternative History of Photography: Works from the Solander collection features some extremely rare and previously unseen photographs from the likes of Sir John Herschel, William Fox Talbot and Julia Margaret Cameron. Images by Ansel Adams who famously said, “You don’t take a photo, you make it”, influential street photographer Diane Arbus and contributor to the Dada movement, Man Ray, will also be on show. 

An Alternative History of Photography

Untitled (Image credit: Malick-Sidibé)

An Alternative History of Photography

A Bride Dances (Image credit: Emilio Amero - An Alternative History of Photography)

From the most traditional methods of photography right up to the modern day, An Alternative history of Photography is bound to challenge, excite and inspire. Curated by Phillip Prodger and organized by Curatorial Exhibitions, this exciting show accompanies a major new book that will be published by Prestel.

Admission to The Photographer’s Gallery costs just £8 for an adult and £5 for a student and will get you access to both exhibitions. To view opening times, how to get there and see what else is on in the coming months, head to The Photographer’s Gallery website.

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.