2012 is the year for the UK. In keeping with all the recent celebrations, king of candid photography Iain McKell launches a new book in the spirit of all things British.
Click images to enlarge.
Perfectly timed between the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympics, 81 Leonard Street continued the celebration with the release of Beautiful Britain, by i-D contributor Iain McKell. Born in the seaside town with a likely chance of rain, Weymouth, McKell’s love of image was born looking at work from the 1950’s by Robert Frank and Bruce Davidson. Photographing the launch party for i-D Issue 1 in 1980, McKell has been documenting subcultures all over the nation for 35 years. Beautiful Britain reveals his personal P.O.V: black and white gritty images of ladies with skinheads, broody youngsters getting into trouble with the authorities and a particularly pretty shot of photographer Alice Hawkins on a green lawn in a wedding dress. The book launch night was packed full of mod types in braces serving tea cups of gin and whistling to Joy Division on the stereo. It was, and the book is, a celebration of the kind of British culture that we all like to look at.
From Iain McKell…
The first thing I did for i-D was… photograph the issue 1 launch party of the magazine in 1980. I started in the industry via... art college and a lot of passion. Where can we find you at dusk? In my garden in West London… weather permitting! Where can we find you at dawn? At Stonehenge whatever the weather. What fictional creature would you become after dark? A night riding ghost cowboy.
Text: Rebecca Arts
All photographs from Beautiful Britain: Photographs from the 1970s to the Present. © Iain McKell, 2012.
Final image taken from i-D Issue 2.