Publication date: October 2019 ISBN 978-1-912339-51-8 €40 £35 $45
Shirley Baker developed her first photograph, aged 8, ‘from the darkness of the coal shed’ in her hometown of Salford, Northwest England. From this moment, she developed a lifelong interest in documentary photography, amounting to a vast and celebrated archival collection that spans the length of her career, dating from the 1960s until 2000. Edited by Lou Stoppard, this book presents an extensive–and, uniquely, female–depiction of post-war life; an eccentric survey which combines her better-known street photographs of Manchester, Salford and Blackpool with previously unseen photographs that span the UK, South of France, all the way to Japan and America. Instances of humour abound in the collection, casting a spotlight on the idiosyncrasies of British identity: a dog sits on its sunbathing owner, a suited man sprawls out asleep on the grass, an old woman scowls at a troop of musicians. The changing landscapes, fashions, photographic styles and tones that make up the sequence are woven together by Baker’s singular attentiveness to moments of wit and warmth in daily life.