I grew up 3,500 miles from where I am currently living. Not a short drive. Not even a long drive. It takes an overnight flight to get there. And even then, the village where I grew up is nothing special beyond simply being the place where I grew up. Although it is surrounded by the amazing countryside of the North Yorkshire moors and the rugged north east of England coastline you won’t find this small slice of the world in any tourist brochures or in anyones bucket list of places to go visit. It is fairly nondescript.
Imagine my surprise then when I was recently thumbing through some old photography books that I picked up at a used book store and stumbled upon the work of a photographer whose images not only featured the village where I grew up but also kids that I grew up with. The photographer was Chris Killip and the images were from his In Flagrante series. The highly praised work documents life in the North East of England in the 1970s, with a particular focus on the aftermath of a declining heavy industry with which the area is associated.
The following are some of Killips images that are available from Google Images.
I remember walking down to Skinningrove with my parents to buy crabs on long summer evenings as they came off the boat at this exact spot.
I still see Bever (the kid in the above image) in the pub when I go back home each year.
Since I grew up in this time and in this area I was drawn to Killip’s work and recalled several images that I had also taken during trips back home. While Killip focused on people living in a declining industrial environment my work focuses on the contrast between the natural beauty of the area and the industry that was built to consume its resources.