Forty years on, I’ve been really pleased to have had two different opportunities to exhibit some of my industrial photographs back in their original locations in the West Midlands (UK).
In June, along with John Myers, I had an outdoor exhibition “Black Country Living” which was part of the Blast Festival. My chain-making photos from 1978 were mounted on hoardings and mobile advertising boards in West Bromwich.
Currently: My photographs from the Jewellery Quarter taken in 1977 are being shown along with more recent images of the area by Andy Pilsbury and Ines Elsa Dalal at the Iron House Gallery in Birmingham. Still: Stories from the Jewellery Quarter open 26th October – 10th November
Returning to the area after 40 years was an amazing experience. Turner and Simpson where I took most of the photographs no longer exists but it is good to see that there are still some craftspeople and workshops continuing to keep traditional skills alive in this historic area.
At both these venues a real ‘blast from the past’ was the showing of the 1978 ATV film about the original project: https://www.macearchive.org/films/camera-streets
Below is Florence Alan who had been with Turner & Simpson for 35 years. She was the holder of a secret gilding formula which she was only going to reveal to her son on her death bed.
Above is Bill Spooner, a silversmith, age 70. He began working in the Jewellery Quarter at age ten.
Available from Cafe Royal Books:
‘The Jewellery Quarter 1977: https://www.caferoyalbooks.com/shop/janine-wiedel-jewellery-quarter-birmingham-1977
A box set with 7 individual books of The West Midlands industries: https://www.caferoyalbooks.com/shop/janine-wiedel-industry-west-midlands-19771979