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Chris Killip (1946-2020) by John Devos


Photographer of de-industrialization, socially engaged lecturer Born on the Isle of Man, halfway between Ireland and the UK, Chris Killip decides to become a photographer at the age of 18. He moves to London where he becomes an assistant to the advertising and portrait photographer Adrian Flowers (1926 – 2016). Around 1969 he radically changed course; he focuses on the reportage & gallery owner Lee D. Witkin was one of the first to recognize his talent: he prefinances a portfolio. During the day he portrays his own community on the Isle of Man, at night he works in his father’s pub. This is published in The Isle of Man: A Book About the Manx. At the same time, it establishes his reputation, he is commissioned to photograph Huddersfield and Bury St Edmunds for a project Two Views-Two Cities. It is a visual confrontation between an industrial and a rural community. Killip moves to Newcastle in 1973 and continues to live there for the next 15 years. Northern England is the industrial heart of the United Kingdom. It is precisely during...

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