Simply ages ago (in February, to be exact), I went to a fascinating exhibition at The Science Museum, London. Showing the works of Tony Ray-Jones and early Martin Parr, the exhibition was a glorious insight into a world of traditions and pastimes which now mostly survive only in our memories.
Tony Ray-Jones (7 June 1941 in Somerset – 13 March 1972 in London) spent part of his early career doing street photography in New York, before returning to England in late 1965. His aim then became to photograph the English at leisure. “My aim is to communicate something of the spirit and the mentality of the English, their habits and their way of life, the ironies that exist in the way they do things, partly through their traditions and partly through the nature of their environment and their mentality. For me there is something very special about the English ‘way of life’ and I wish to record it from my particular point of view before it becomes Americanised and disappears.” Creative Camera, October 1968.
Here are some of my favourites from the exhibition
Tony Ray-Jones’ books, American Colour and A Day Off, look like they are well worth a look, too.