"Graham uses the camera to expose the things we overlook. They are right there in front of all of us, yet we carry on with our own lives trying to make the world conform to our idea of it. Graham's pictures force us to open our eyes. He slashes through the everyday and in doing so lets in a little metaphorical ray of light to illuminate the subject." – Phil Coombs, BBC
"Social documentary in new colours, with sublime light effects, Vermeer-like precision and a submerged sense of loss" – Andrew O'Hagan, London Review of Books
A1 - The Great North Road was Paul Graham's first book, published in 1983. Despite the UK having a vibrant photographic scene at the time, there were only handful of monographic books - Chris Killip and Martin Parr had one each - and no dedicated publishers or distributors. Graham had to self-publish A1, but as the first colour book, it had a startling impact on British photography. Uniting the tradition of social documentary with the fresh approach of new colour, A1 - The Great North Road was transformative on photography in the UK and paved the way for a new generation of British colour photographers to emerge, from Nick Waplington to Anna Fox, Richard Billingham to Tom Wood.
Spanning the full length of England and into Edinburgh, Graham travelled repeatedly along the 'Great North Road' with a large format camera, to record the people, buildings, and landscape of early 1980's Britain. Now 40 years old, this book is as much art as it is a historical document of the years of Margaret Thatcher’s government and the UK’s declining industrial base.
Graham went on to complete Beyond Caring (1985) and Troubled Land (1986), both of which became iconic bodies of work. Originally self-published and now rare, Graham's 1980's trilogy of books will be re-published over the coming years by MACK.
Linen hardcover with tipped-in image
32.2 x 24.3cm, 96 pages
First edition, second printing
€50 £45 $60
ABOUT THE SIGNED EDITION
The signed edition includes an extra image plate signed by the artist and glued into the inside back cover.