Pioneering British photographer Shirley Baker (1932-2014) is thought to be the only woman practicing street photography in Britain during the post-war era. Baker’s humanist documentary work received little attention throughout her sixty-five years career. This exhibition includes previously unseen colour photographs by Baker alongside black and white images and ephemera such as magazine spreads, contact sheets and various sketches. It specifically focuses on her depictions of the urban clearance programmes of inner city Manchester and Salford. This intense period of study, spanning from 1961 – 1981, documents what Baker saw as the needless destruction of working class communities.
Her photographs testify to the poverty and resilience of communities under siege. In examining these street scenes, the exhibition aims to highlight Baker’s appreciation of alternate values and life experiences found in this community while conveying her compassionate affection, empathy and indignation for the plight of her subjects.
The exhibition is a collaboration with The Photographer’s Gallery, London.