Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Bailey’s East End

Bailey is Newham’s most famous son. The exhibition of pictures of the East End, taken over 50 years, will see him return to Newham while the world’s focus is on east London. It is little known that David Bailey has photographed east London streets and their inhabitants from the early 60′s right up to the present day, returning time and again to the stomping ground of his youth. The photographs that will be displayed, many of them large-scale prints, document the changing physical and social landscape of east London showing streetscapes, characters and scenes of east London life. Some famous faces appear but they are nestled in among the renowned ‘faces’ of the area. Bailey’s photographs also provide a visual record of the different groups of immigrants who have settled in this part of the city. The exhibition will take place in London’s first new Enterprise Zone – the Royal Docks, which was the largest man-made Docks in the world when constructed 150 years ago.….MORE

14 July – 11 August 2012. Royal Docks, Newham.
Entry: £6, £4 conc.

Diane Smyth writes in the BJP about this exhibition

“My mum used to call it ‘us and them’,” says David Bailey. “Jean Shrimpton and Penelope Tree [two of his girlfriends and models] were posh to her. I stayed at her house one time with Jean, and in the morning Jean asked where the other sheet was. My mum took a dislike to Jean then because she thought she was she was being really snobby – to her, you got one sheet and a blanket and that was it. Art’s great because there is no ‘us and them’, no one cares where you come from. Art gets rid of all that.” 

Bailey shot to fame in the 1960s for his fashion photography, and for his East End roots. Along with Terence Donovan and Brian Duffy he embodied a new kind of fashion photographer who was hip, heterosexual and working class – or, as Duffy put it: “Before 1960, a fashion photographer was tall, thin and camp. But we three are different: short, fat and heterosexual.” Born in 1938 in Leytonstone and brought up in East Ham, Bailey’s earliest memories are of air raid shelters; he went on to photograph East End gangster Reggie Kray’s wedding. “Reg asked me if I would shoot it and I thought ‘I’ve got no choice’,” he says. “There’s no reshoot – the reshoot would be concrete shoes.”.…MORE

David Bailey took this picture in London’s East End in 1968; this summer it will be included in a large solo show called Bailey’s East End which will be held in the Royal Docks as part of the Create2012 summer programme. Untitled, 1968 © David Bailey.

One response to “Bailey’s East End

  1. Pingback: Timeout speaks to David Bailey | cameraconnect

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