From the early 1990s onwards, British photography has diversified as photographers found freedom to experiment. Fashion and art photography thrived and the genres of documentary and photojournalism offered different perspectives of life in Britain. Increased commitment to funding photographic practice in higher education, and access to grants as well as commissions, meant that photographers could also work outside the commercial sphere. The art world finally embraced photography, leading many emerging practitioners to see the primary market for their work as the gallery rather than the pages of a magazine.
Contemporary photographers have moved around this ‘strange’ country observing, collecting and making fictions from facts or sometimes facts from fictions. Their views are enigmatic – as the old uncertainties about the objectivity of photography have disappeared. In the past two decades photographing Britain has been a complex endeavour involving the telling of stories and the contradictory nature of life on this small island. These photographers, and their narratives, provide a view of Britain, its people, its landscape, its obsessions and its crises.
Artists and Archives