The English: Exploring the Work of Ian Berry

The English: Exploring the Work of Ian Berry

The series “The English” by Ian Berry, which was mainly written in the 1970s, is a very personal exploration of the British lifestyle. Although Ian Berry was born and raised in the north of England, he was in an odd situation of being an Englishman, but due to his many years abroad, he knew little about England.

“The great single picture is emotionally satisfying while getting a good journalistic story is more about being a professional.” -Ian Berry

Berry is a committed advocate of classic photojournalism who seeks to convey an authentic reality and show the world with all its beauty and atrocity. He always worked very precisely, preferably with natural light, seeking, taking time, becoming almost invisible to others, but always turned to humans. Most of his photos were taken with Leica cameras on Ilford film.

He gives us his personal and partial insight into British everyday life. The viewer, therefore, has to draw his own conclusions about the pictures and their content.

The exhibition, The English, is on display at the Leica Gallery in Vienna until November 23, 2019.

Leica Camera Austria interview:

About the Author

Born in Preston, UK, on April 4, 1934, the British Magnum photographer Ian Berry is counted among the most important representatives of humanistic photography.

A portrait of Ian Berry by Edmond Terakopian

It was the pictures he took in South Africa that first drew the attention of the general public. He had emigrated there in 1952, where his photojournalistic work was published in various newspapers and magazines, including the renowned Drum magazine. At the same time, he began working on his own, personal projects. He left South Africa in 1962 and moved to Paris, where Henri Cartier-Bresson invited him to join Magnum Photos.

He became a full member of the agency in 1967. In 1964 he moved to London, where he became the first commissioned photographer for the Observer magazine. It was at this time that he began to focus very intensely on his homeland, resulting in the publication of the photo book, The English, in 1978.

More info about the author on:

More info about the exhibition on Leica Gallery Vienna:

Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books; New Ed edition (1978)
Language: English
Size: 9.5 x 8.8 x 0.2 inches
Weight: 12 ounces
ISBN-13: 978-0140047813
ISBN-10: 0140047816

Ian Berry was born in Lancashire, England. He made his reputation in South Africa, where he worked for the Daily Mail and later for Drum magazine. He was the only photographer to document the massacre at Sharpeville in 1960, and his photographs were used in the trial to prove the victims’ innocence.

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