Shirley Baker: The Photographers Gallery

ExhibitionSmith - Museum & Gallery Reviews

The second floor of The Photographers Gallery is currently dedicated to the work of British female documentary photographer Shirley Baker, and is aptly titled ‘Women and Children; and Loitering Men’. The photographs are predominantly black and white (although colour images are hanging on two walls towards the back of the space) and as the title suggests it heavily features images of women and children as well as unemployed men – a trilogy who regularly act as her protagonists. All of the images were taken during the 1960’s and 70’s in Manchester, Salford or Hulme and document the urban clearance projects of that era in a very real and moving way. None of the images feel forced or staged and they all depict wonderfully banal activities; everyday scenes of women pushing prams, men walking the dog, children playing in the rubble and debris of derelict buildings, graffiti, and families sitting on…

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