Roger Mayne (photographer)
Roger Mayne (born 1929 in Cambridge) is an English photographer, most famous for his documentation of the children of Southam Street, London.
Wikipedia explains that Roger Mayne was a young photographer looking for a significant personal project which he could use to make a name for himself. He found it in the street life of Southam Street in Notting Dale (now often considered part of Notting Hill), which he photographed between 1956 and 1961. The Southam Street collection is of national importance, and is now held by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
At this time, Southam Street had large decaying terraced houses with shared lavatories and was crammed with people living in crowded rooms. Many people spent time outside in the street creating a community environment that Mayne found attractive.
Most of Southam Street was demolished in 1969 to make way for the Trellick Tower although a small section still exists. Mayne's Southam Street work had a major retrospective exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1986 and was brought to a new audience in the 1990s through being extensively used for concert backdrops, record sleeves and press-adverts by the singer Morrissey.
I have looked at a number of his photographs and love the way they are so atmospheric and depict normal people going about their daily lives in terrible conditions but with smiles on their faces. I would recommend you look at the Morrissey website to find out more about Roger Mayne and about Southam Street.
read about the future of Southam Street and the Trellick Tower
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