Shirley Baker A Different Age

Shirley Baker, Manchester © 2020 James Hyman Gallery, PO Box 67698, LONDON. NW11 1NE

James Hyman Gallery presents an online exhibition of largely unseen photographs by Shirley Baker selected from the British photographer’s Estate.

The exhibition, which goes live from 22 June to 24 July via the Gallery’s website, includes Baker’s rare colour work as well as a selection of iconic black and white images.

Focusing on Shirley Baker’s celebrated street scenes photographed around Manchester and Salford in the north of England, this exhibition explores her depiction of older people.

Shirley Baker’s daughter, Nan Levy, who has co-curated the show with James Hyman, explains: “We are now starting to see the easing of the lockdown and with that we can begin to step outside, enjoy the sunshine and play sport. Sadly our elderly folk are still advised to stay safe at home; unable to see their loved ones or enjoy simple pleasures such as going to the park. I have gathered together a collection of Shirley’s photographs taken from the mid 60s to the mid 80s; these show older people enjoying their daily lives in the community in a way that is not possible at the moment.”

Shirley Baker, once writing of her motivations, expressed a world of street life that seems like a distant memory: “I love the immediacy of unposed, spontaneous photographs and the ability of the camera to capture the serious, the funny, the sublime and the ridiculous. Despite the many wonderful pictures of the great and famous, I feel that less formal, quotidian images can often convey more of the life and spirit of the time.”