PODCAST: A Photographic Life, Episode 56: Plus Photographer Iain McKell

In episode 56 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed considering food photography and the value of photographic archives and how we can help each other to ensure their survival.

Plus this week photographer Iain McKell takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer than 5 minutes in length in which he answer’s the question ‘What Does Photography Mean to You?’

If you would like to read more about Grant’s views on photographer’s and their archives you can here https://unitednationsofphotography.com/2018/10/16/dont-forget-photographers-of-the-immediate-past/

Iain McKell grew up in Weymouth, Dorset and began working as a seaside photographer aged 19. He went on to study graphic design at the Exeter College of Art and Design before moving to London in 1979 to work as a designer. His first exhibition of his work was staged in his own studio in 1984 titled Iain McKell LIVE in which members of the public were invited to witness McKell at work, as he photographed members of the alternative comedian collective ‘The Comic Strip’ and many of the visitors to the show. This was followed in 1985 by an open workshop at The Photographers’ Gallery, London showing his work and a documentary film documenting his life in 1984. The success of these events led him to work on advertising campaigns for brands such as Smirnoff and Red Stripe. McKell has been photographing various subcultures since the 1980s, beginning with the documentation of the skinhead culture within the UK and leading on to a similar documentation of Punks, Blitz Kids, and Rockabillies. Images that became his book Fashion Forever: 30 Years of Subculture published by Thames & Hudson in 2004. McKell has also spent over ten years befriending and photographing a group of New Age Travellers. The result of which became his book The New Gypsies published in 2011. He also went on to collaborate with Kate Moss for V magazine as Kate Moss traveled with McKell and spent time with the travellers. In 2012, McKell released his third book, Beautiful Britain: Photographs from the 1970s to the Present. in 2019 his book  New Girl Order was published by Hoxton Mini Press a body of work created as McKell spent two years immersed in a community of young female artists, documenting their unique performances, parties and personalities. He has directed commercials and pop videos and worked on commission for The Sunday Times, Vogue Italia, L’Uomo Vogue and i-D magazine amongst many others. www.iainmckell.com

A selection of work from Private Reality will be shown as part of Seaside:Photographed at Turner Contemporary in Margate from May 2019  www.turnercontemporary.org/

Grant Scott is the founder/curator of United Nations of Photography, a Senior Lecturer in Photography, a working photographer, and the author of Professional Photography: The New Global Landscape Explained (Focal Press 2014) and The Essential Student Guide to Professional Photography (Focal Press 2015). His next book New Ways of Seeing: The Democratic Language of Photography will be published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2019. He is currently work on his next documentary film project Woke Up This Morning: The Rock n’ Roll Thunder of Ray Lowry.

His documentary film, Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay can now be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=wd47549knOU&t=3915s.

© Grant Scott 2019

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