Knock Down Ginger 70 Years of Street Kids, Photographers' Gallery, London

Murray, Matthew ORCID: 0000-0001-8956-8062 (2001) Knock Down Ginger 70 Years of Street Kids, Photographers' Gallery, London. [Show/Exhibition]

Image (KNOCK DOWN GINGER SEVENTY YEARS OF STREET KIDS, Photographers' Gallery, London)
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Knock Down Ginger is a childish game of dare, where knocking on someone's door and then running away, reveals children's resourcefulness to play even in the most impoverished of environments. At times tribal, sweet, filthy or endearing, street kids have been captured on camera from the Thirties to the present day. The exhibition features well-known social documentarists Bert Hardy, Thurston Hopkins, Humphrey Spender and John 'Hoppy' Hopkins, whose work collectively spans the 1930s to 1960s. Recognising the importance of preserving the 'catapults and conkers' traditions of the street for future generations, they were also at pains to draw public attention to the plight of kids living in the slum areas of the Elephant and Castle in London and the Gorbals in Glasgow. Shirley Baker had a much more personal approach, photographing children at play in her local back streets of Salford and Manchester in the late 1960s and early 70s. Baker worked extensively in colour, as well as in conventional black and white, which is most unusual for the period. Her photographs were not exhibited until the mid-eighties and have since received great acclaim, being highly sought after by collectors. David Trainer's contemporary images reveal, perhaps surprisingly, that street traditions such as Penny for the Guy are still maintained. Matthew Murray's colour photographs from his home town, Birmingham, are at once highly contemporary, yet recall the cheeky school kids of the Beano era. The sight of children playing in the streets may have become a rarity in urban areas over the last decade; but wherever there are close-knit communities they are still, inevitably, part of everyday street life.

Item Type: Show/Exhibition
Uncontrolled Keywords: Photographers' Gallery, Exhibition, Gallery
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
T Technology > TR Photography
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Culture, Continuity, and Transformation
Depositing User: Matthew Murray
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2017 10:12
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:24

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