LLJ Blog

Laura Lee's Picks: Don McCullin

"Photography isn't looking, it's Feeling"

Laura had a short break in the South of France last week - a beautiful landscape.

Whilst there, she visited Les Rencontres d'Arles.

Laura studied Photography at University before she started designing jewellery and ardently follows those who continue to inspire her. One of her favourite photographers is the highly regarded, Don McCullin.

Don McCullin is renowned for his deeply moving conflict photography, documenting the wars in Cyprus, Vietnam and Beirut, to name a few.

Taken from the Rencontres d’Arles 2016 website:

"The exhibition of his work at the Rencontres d’Arles 2016 brings together, for the first time, the wealth and depth of his photographic practice beyond the limits of conflict, exploring his long standing practice as a documentary and landscape photographer. Even outside the frame of war, McCullin’s work reflects some of the most pressing social issues of our time, always portrayed using a photographic language of great beauty and subtlety. Perhaps his greatest talent, however, has been his ability to capture a diversity of subjects from a consistent standpoint. From his local surroundings in London, to foreign conflicts and tragedies, or returning to the peaceful landscape of the Somerset levels, there is a universal way in which McCullin reveals the world around us."

Early Morning, West Hartlepool, County Durham, 1963. Courtesy of the artist and Hamiltons Gallery, London

 Laura:

"I have followed Don McCullin's work for many years; it has regularly brought me to tears and this exhibit was no different. McCullin is famous for his documentary photography - a true pioneer in journalism, recounting the truth, pain and struggle of war that we so often try to forget or push out our minds. Don McCullin's photography reveals the strength and the pain behind those affected by war in a profoundly honest way. As well as his superb war-photography, many stunning photographs of the British countryside were exhibited, despite the difference in subject, these images were just as dark, dramatic and hard-hitting as the shots he is most famous for"

Don McCullin

"I was particularly affected by the first image - a shot of a man walking his flock of sheep to market near the Caledonian Road. It was taken in 1965 but like so many of his images it evoked feelings of a Dickensian London; a poverty stricken London that has been forgotten. I know the Caledonian road very well and it was such a shock to see the contrast between the London of today and how it was depicted in this photograph.

He is man full of compassion; so able to so accurately document the pain and humility of life - it affects me deeply."

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