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Tom Stoddart’s retrospective comes to London’s South Bank

In the BJP we read about a retrospective of the work of Tom Stoddart


A child plays with pigeons among the ruins of Bhachau, India, one of the worst hit towns after the earthquake of 2001 struck the region of Gujarat. Image © Tom Stoddart/Getty Images.

Perspectives, a retrospective of Tom Stoddart’s career, will be shown on the South Bank throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Games, from 25 July to 11 September.

Eimear Kelly speaks to Stoddart

“I thought it was a really good opportunity to have an exhibition when lots and lots of people are visiting the capital, and the idea was to put it in a place where there would be a huge footfall of people,” Stoddart tells BJP.

 More London on the South Bank will display 78 of Stoddart’s black and white images, where his Eyewitness exhibition was held eight years ago.

Open 25 July – 11 September, throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Seventy-eight of Stoddart’s signature black and white pictures will form a free, open-air display at More London Riverside, between City Hall and HMS Belfast.During his distinguished career Stoddart has travelled to more than 50 countries and documented such historic events as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Siege of Sarajevo and the election of Nelson Mandela as South Africa’s first black president.His acclaimed in-depth work on the HIV/AIDS pandemic blighting sub-Saharan Africa won the POY World Understanding Award in 2003. In the same year his pictures of British Royal Marines in combat, during hostilities in Iraq, was awarded the Larry Burrows Award for Exceptional War Photography. A year later his book iWITNESS was honoured as the best photography book published in the USA.Now established as one of the world’s most respected photojournalists, Stoddart works closely with Getty Images to produce features on serious world issues.He said,

”The world’s nations will soon be joined together in a wonderful sporting festival whose motto is ‘swifter, higher, stronger’. I hope that people visiting the exhibition will leave with a greater determination to understand and help those with little access to clean water, food and medicines who, through no fault of their own, cannot run more swiftly, jump higher or be stronger”.

Tom Stoddart

Tom Stoddart

Tom Stoddart began his photographic career with a provincial newspaper in his native North East of England.

In 1978 he moved to London and, working freelance, started to regularly supply national newspapers and magazines. In the eighties he worked extensively for the Sunday Times newspaper.

Stoddart was in Beirut in 1982 when the Israeli forces bombed Yasser Arafat’s besieged PLO base and again in 1987 shooting a world exclusive on the horrific conditions inside the
Palestinian camp of Bourj el Barajneh, where Dr. Pauline Cutting was trapped.

Later he spent time aboard the Greenpeace ship ‘Rainbow Warrior’ where he shot a widely published story about the environmentalists’ efforts to stop the Canadian cull of baby seals in the Gulf of St Lawrence.

Stoddart has witnessed many international events including the Romanian Revolution and the massing of alliance troops in the Middle East for the Desert Storm conflict with Iraq. He has subsequently spent time with British Royal Marines on more recent operations in Iraq.

In July 1991, he travelled to Sarajevo to document the civil war that was engulfing Yugoslavia.

His work from there was published around the world. Returning a year later for The Sunday Times Magazine, he was seriously injured in heavy fighting around the Bosnian Parliament buildings.

After a year of recovery, Stoddart threw himself back into photojournalism, producing a powerful feature on the aftermath of the Mississippi floods and, later that year, an award-winning photo-essay on the harsh regime for the training of Chinese Olympic Child Gymnasts.

In December 1993 he returned to Sarajevo to report on the hardship of life in the city during a freezing winter under siege. This trip confirmed his fascination with a place that he was to return to on a dozen different occasions up until the Dayton Peace Accord in 1995. Earlier this year he revisited the city, on the 20th Anniversary of the lifting of the siege.

In 1997 Tony Blair gave Tom Stoddart exclusive access for three months to document his election campaign as Labour swept to victory after 18 years of Conservative government. He was later give access to Prime Ministers Gordon Brown and David Cameron.

Now established as one of the world’s most respected photojournalists, Tom Stoddart is represented by, and works closely with Getty Images, to produce campaigning photographic projects on the serious world issues of our time.