Black and white photograph of a group of people sitting on chairs around an open fire in the darkness, a track receding into the distance.
from the portfolio 'From Haswell Plough to Harajuku'
This photograph was taken as part of Chris Steele-Perkins’ ‘Northern Exposures’ project, a commission organised by Side Gallery in Newcastle to document life in the North East of England. Steele-Perkins chose to focus on the curious intersection of rural life and post-industralism in former mining communities, looking in particular at man’s relationship with animals (pigeon clubs, feretting, lamping, greyhounds), and producing a body of work of exemplary black and white reportage . What he found was not the ‘rural England I grew up in [in Somerset], of cider, soft rolling hills and warmer weather’, but a way of life that still maintained links with ‘an older, mainly Anglo-Saxon England.’ As the photographer writes ‘I wanted to document these ways, and rituals of a life lived in the open, under the sky. This is what these photographs are: a partial record, and a personal exploration, which serves as both eulogy and elegy.’