Sir Don McCullin forged a career as one of the world’s leading photographers of conflict. When at home, McCullin often turned his attention to the lives of people in Britain. His retrospective at Tate Liverpool features images depicting life and industrial scenes in Liverpool the 1960s and 70s. It’s your last chance to catch the exhibition as it closes on 5 September.
Every photograph in this exhibition has been printed by McCullin himself. He is an expert printer, working in his darkroom at home, returning time and time again to produce the best possible results. In doing so, he revisits painful memories of his assignments; of people and places that are impossible to forget.
McCullin first visited Liverpool when he was fifteen years old, working on a steam train that travelled up from London three times a week. Later, as a young man, he returned as a photojournalist to document the changes that occurred in the city in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. This included the slum clearance that took place in Toxteth and surrounding areas, which gave the landscape the appearance of a warzone.
Having grown up in similar circumstances, Liverpool felt familiar to McCullin and he became very fond of the city. Apart from photographing disadvantaged communities, he also spent time with artists and poets including Adrian Henri and Brian Patten for a 1967 Telegraph Magazinestory written by Roger McGough, and documented the police for the Sunday Times in 1980.
McCullin has spent his life covering war, famine and displacement around the world. His unforgettable and sometimes harrowing images are accompanied by his brutally honest commentaries of the atrocities he witnessed.
McCullin became one of the world’s leading photographers of conflict. He has spent his life covering war, famine and displacement around the world. Much of this work was done for the Sunday Times, where he spent almost twenty years. His photographs raised awareness of atrocities as they were happening, but they also have a long-lasting influence, continuing to shape perceptions of historical events such as the Vietnam War or the Troubles in Northern Ireland.