This week’s publication is by Homer Sykes—Biddy Boys Ireland 1972. An edition of 150, 36 pages.
I have published several books by Sykes, the First being Blitz Kids, Skins and Silver Spoons. There are three more planned for this year.
My first documentary photographs date from the late 1960s, during 1970s – 1990s, my principal commissions in Britain were for what used to be called the “weekend colour supplements” such as The Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The Observer, You and the Sunday Express magazines. I also shot weekly news for Newsweek, Time, Now! and New Society magazines.
I always worked on my own personal photographic documentary projects. These include work on aspects of British Society, and documenting traditional British folklore customs, that I started in 1970 and completed seven years later resulting in the publication Once a Year: Some Traditional British Customs (Gordon Fraser). I have in recent years been revisiting many of these annual events and finding ‘new’ annual customs that I had not photographed in the 1970s.
I am the author, and co-author-photographer of eight books about Britain as well as Shanghai Odyssey (Dewi Lewis Publishing) and On the Road Again (Mansion Editions).
More recently Café Royal Books have published ten limited editions books from my British archive.
My work is represented in private and National Collections.
I have had numerous exhibitions through out my career. A mini retrospective exhibition of ninety photograph, Homer Sykes England 1970-1980, was held at Maison de la Photographie Robert Doisneau, Paris for over three months in 2014. This was principally from my projects on aspects of British Society. I was the first British photographer to be shown there. There was a publication to go with the exhibit, Homer Sykes This is England (Poursuite Editions), was published on the occasion of the exhibition.
My vintage prints are represented by the James Hyman Gallery London.
In the last 35 years I have gone from shooting about three editorial commissioned magazine stories a week, mainly one and two days assignments, to about one commission per annum. Which suits me fine, as 90% of my time is now taken up managing my archive, and shooting stuff that interests me.
My British Archive
In conversation with Peter Dench