Indepth Arts News: |
"The Close Season by Ken Grant"
2003-03-14 until 2003-04-20
Gallery of Photography
"no hidden agendas, no exploitation, just a short cut to knowing what it
was like to be there"
We are privileged to be able to dwell awhile in the heart of the
home, and witness the tender urgencies of kinship and survival…
At the start of his play,' Juno and the Paycock ', the writer Sean
O'Casey sets out the foundation for a family's being. The room is
charged with all that is essential: coal for warmth, a frying pan, a
teapot, a shovel for work and books to escape.
Such a framework is a
key to the work contained within The Close Season by Ken Grant, his
moving portrayal of changing Liverpool communities. With understated
eloquence and celebration of detail, Grant has found an ability to
deal with the disquiet, uncertainty and intimate encounters of family
life amongst his contemporaries.
Ken Grant started to photograph in Liverpool in the mid 1980's, and
has rarely strayed more than a few miles from the River Mersey in his
work. What began as a way of remembering the craftspeople and
labourers he grew up around (in his words 'my ever changing
colleagues') developed into a response to the transience of
traditional labour in the region in general, and the social and
cultural celebrations that offered respite and strength. This is the
sense of autobiography in his work.
The Swedish photographer Anders Petersen once commented that he had
tried to take the same photograph for thirty years. Rather than an
admission of complacency, there is a suggestion here that a
photographer can strive throughout his life for such intimacy and
intensity in his work. Not many photographers seem willing to take
the time. The dynamism, unease and beauty within Ken Grant's
photographs, suggests that he is aware of such obligations.
Ken Grant is an associate member of Network Photo Agency and a senior
lecturer at The University of Wales College, Newport. Ken Grant's
work is held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York
and V&A Museum, London. Signed copies of Ken's new book 'The Close
Season', with a story by James Kelman, are available priced 39.25 Euro.
© Ken Grant