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Private Reality

© Iain McKell

Diary of a Teenage Boy, 1976

In 1976 aged nineteen while studying at Exeter College of Art Iain McKell got himself a summer job on Weymouth seafront photographing holidaymakers. He saw this as a wonderful opportunity to earn a living but at the same time doing a personal project showing the life of the seaside photographer.

Private Reality is about youth culture and being a teenager in the 70’s. Existential angst was preoccupying his thoughts constantly.

As well as the holidaymakers McKell was photographing local people from the town, his friends, family and into the evening with the disco bars fairgrounds and caravan parks.

McKell was also experimenting with abstraction through the graphic nature of photography. The black and white photographs express both desire and despair the sense of un-belonging visceral but ironically he did belong to this place. Growing up in a British seaside hotel in a landscape of arrivals and departures of transient relationships founded on elusive notions of pleasure and escape”

It all came together through the lens as he was turning from a teenager to a young adult. It was McKell's right of passage and coming of age and he started to look at the world through the camera.

click to view the complete set of images in the archive

Publisher: Dewi Lewis
Hardback 160 pages
112 duotone photos, 270 x 200mm
ISBN: 978-1-911306-51-1
£35.00 UK / $50.00

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