Size: 250mm x 250mm
Illustrations: 96 b/w
Culture: N.E. England
Rural Life in the North East
Returning to the North East in 2001 to document the Durham Coalfield, at one time the heartland of the British coal industry, Chris Steele-Perkins found himself in that exurban culture that we now associate with “Billy Elliot”. This world of “lamping” (for rabbits), ferreting, whippet racing, grouse shooting, pigeon fancying and the rearing of birds of prey is a survival of what D. H. Lawrence once described as “a curious cross between industrialism and the old agricultural England of Shakespeare and Milton”.
Chris Steele-Perkins has memorably recorded this with visual wit, and a constant eye for the extraordinary. Nor is he at all sentimental: the harsh realities of blood-stained slaughter-houses and the vandalism of fly-tipping in the open countryside aren’t excluded. His photographs, he says, “serve as both eulogy and elegy”.
Chris Steele-Perkins is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning Magnum photographer whose assignments have taken him around the world. Born in Burma in 1947 he moved to England when he was two. His home country of England remains a constant source of inspiration. His books include The Teds (1979), Beirut: The Frontline Story (1983), The Pleasure Principle (1989), Afghanistan (2000), Tokyo Love Hello (2007) and England, My England (2009).