Creative Arts and Design > Photography]
Essay text contribution.
Iain McKell took his first photographs of a small band of the 'New Age' travellers 25 years ago, the day before their buses were smashed up by the police acting under orders from the Thatcher government.
Ten years ago he set out to rediscover them and was surprised and delighted to find that a 'small tribe' had evolved from them who were now 'horse-drawn' and has settled into a sustainable lifestyle. He began to make regular trips to document them, now photographing the next generation.
Historically despised the new Gypsies are there by choice, not heritage. Unrelated to the Roma, the movement began in 1986 when a group of Post-Punk Anti-Thatcher protesters headed out of London into the English countryside. McKell followed these New Age Travellers to the West Country and over the years he watched them become a hybrid tribe - the new gypsies - present-day rural anarchists, living the subversive lifestyle in elaborately decorated horse-drawn caravans. Known as 'Horse-drawn', the new gypsies share a desire for sustainability, a love of self-reliance and a disdain for the trappings of contemporary life. For more than a decade McKell has focused his lens on travellers of all ages: parents, children, couples and loners. With sensitivity and honesty he captures a way of life that seems at once romantic, strange, beautiful and simple. The result is a deeply insightful portrayal of a culture that eschews the traditional creature comforts of urban life in favour of the simplicity and freedom of the natural world.
Photographer Iain McKell offers an extraordinary—and breathtakingly beautiful—glimpse into the lives of a real and raw group of present-day nomads whose culture is built around ideals of freedom, nature, and simplicity.
|Type of Research:||Book Section|
|Your affiliations with UAL:||Colleges > London College of Communication|
|Date:||14 February 2011|
|Projects or Series:||Research Outputs Review (April 2010 - April 2011)|
|Deposited By:||Prerna Bhatt|
|Deposited On:||02 Nov 2011 14:29|
|Last Modified:||04 Sep 2012 20:00|