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I’ve identified this as a style which was popularised in Britain in the 80s. I already have some idea of works produced in this style and feel that the term is applicable to Days work. The style is critical of society, particularity so in the 80s and the era of Thatcherism. I’ve already contextualized this and other themes and begun applying them to Day’s work.

Chris Killip:

Images taken 1981-1984 from In Flagrante (1988)

Photo-historian and critic Gerry Badger, describes it as “a fully realized photo-book by a British photographer; complex, subtle, allusive. It was in the documentary mode, that is to say, realist in tone, but realism shot through and through with a powerful and insistent personal inflection. For Killip, it achieved a long-term goal to make photography which might be perceived in a literary, cinematic way, with a narrative flow, however oblique, and the work of art was the book itself.”

(Quoted in Chris Killip, Phaidon 55)

Graham Smith:

Images taken 1982-1985

Paul Graham:

Images taken 1984-1985 from Beyond Caring
I meant this post as a brief comparison with Day’s work. I feel that the major difference is that these images approach reality from a stylistic, ‘powerful and insistent personal inflection’. It’s to say that Day’s presents her work as being less conventional, disregarding perception ‘in a literary, cinematic way, with a narrative flow’.  Her work is more raw and looks arguably un-skilled. The social-documentative, critical approach to photography used by the mentioned photographers and famously Martin Parr could have been used to meet Day’s intention, however I feel that the context of which her work contrasted needed the less stylish and perfected imagery.

Angelic Upstarts at a Miners’ Benefit Dance at the Barbary Coast Club, Sunderland, Wearside, Chris Killip [online image] avaliable from:

Bever’s first day out, Skinningrove, North Yorkshire, 1982, Chris Killip [online image] avaliable from:

Beyond Caring 1984-85, Paul Graham, [online images] all avaliable from:

Brother & sister waiting, Whitley Bay, Tyneside, 1981, Chris Killip [online image] avaliable from:

Dancing Girls, Middlesbrough, 1985, Graham Smith [online image] avaliable from:

Housing estate, North Shields, May 5, Tyneside, 1981, Chris Killip [online image] avaliable from:

I Thought I Saw Liz Taylor and Bot Mitchum in the Back Room of the Commercial, Middlesbrough, 1984, Graham Smith [online image] avaliable from:

Outside the Commercial, Middlesbrough, 1982, Graham Smith, [online image] avaliable from:

Thirty – Eight Bastard Years on the Furnace Front Mess Room for No. 4 and No. 5 Furnaces, Middlesbrough, 1983, Graham Smith, [online image] avaliable from:


One Comment

  1. the picture of the flats in north shields, the lad with the black & white t-shirt is me…. the writing on the wall on the flats behind says “bobby sands the greedy irish pig ” he was on hunger strike at the time…. happy days !

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