Colin Jones - The George Orwell of Photography








09/07/2019 6-9pm

(c) Colin Jones Girls Playing 1963 20 x 16 Silver Gelatin printed by Colin Jones £1000
(c) Colin Jones - Liverpool Docks 1963 16 x 12" Silver Gelatin printed by Colin Jones SOLD OUT
(c) Colin Jones - Coal Miner After a Shift - Seven Sister Colliery 1997 20 x 16" Silver Gleatin Printed by Colin Jones £1000
(c) Colin Jones - Wallsend Newcastle 1963 20 x 16" Silver Gelatin Print £1000
(c) Colin Jones - Swan Hunters Shipyard 1962 20 x 16" Silver Gelatin print £1000
(c) Coliln Jones - Off Wapping High Street 1962 - 20 x 16" Silver Gelatin print £1000
(c) Colin Jones - Wapping 1962 - 20 x 16 Silver Gelatin print £1000
(c) Colin Jones - Elizabeth Anderton - The Gorbels 1962 - 20 x 16" Silver Gelatin Print £1000
(c) Colin Jones - Coalsearchers on Slag Heap, Sunderland 1962
(c) Colin Jones Steam train Delivering coal to steelworks - West Hartlepool 1963 20 x 16" Silver Gelatin print £1000
(c) Colin Jones - London Smog 1962 - 20 x 16" Silver Gelatin Print £1000
(c) Colin Jones - Rudolf Nuureyev at his flat 1967 - 20 x 16" £1000
(c) Colin Jones - South Wales Miner Showering Rhonda Valley 1987 20 x 16" £1000

This Exhibition is touring to Bermondsey Project Space, 183-185 Bermondsey Street London SE1 3UW 0203 441 5152 from 9th July - 13th July.

Preview 6-9 pm 9th July

Colin Jones was born in the East End of London, in 1936. During the Blitz, the young and dyslexic Colin Jones  attended 13 different school before being recruited by the Festival Ballet, later joining the Royal Ballet, at a time when Kenneth MacMillan was embarking on some of his most controversial work. Described as " the prototype for Billy Elliot" Jones’ life journey reads like a Hollywood movie which saw  him tour with the Royal Ballet performing alongside Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn, and in Kenneth MacMillans’ “The Invitation” with Prima Ballerina Lynn Seymour, who he later married before leaving to become a documentary photographer.

Jones bought his first camera  on tour in Japan in 1953, whilst running an errand for Dame Margot Fonteyn and started taking photographs. These photographs capture the reality of life as a ballet dancer – the hard work and dedication required to succeed, and revealed the ballet as it had never been seen before. Travelling from Newcastle to Sunderland in 1961 Jones spotted some coal searchers scouring the slag heaps and skipped his ballet class heading out to photograph them. The following year Jones left the ballet  and went to see The Observer Magazine, who employed him to go and photograph the Alabama Race Riots of 1963, and subsequently many other photo-documentary stories, often risky, including the Brazilian gold mines, the gangs in Jamaica, prostitution in the Philippines, the boy soldiers of the Khmer Rouge, and the Cargo Cults of the New Hebrides who worshipped Prince Phillip. He was fortunate to be working at the heyday of investigative photo-journalism, alongside photographers such as Don McCullin and Philip Jones Griffiths and under the editorship of Harold Evans at the Sunday Times

Jones, has documented facets of British social history over the years as diverse as the vanishing industrial working lives of the Northeast(Grafters), marginalised Afro-Caribbean youth in London (The Black House) and the high-octane hedonism of Swinging London in the 1960's with his iconic images of The Who early in their career (Maximum Who).His work has been published in every major publication  including Life, National Geographic and in many supplements for the major broadsheets. Jones work has been exhibited widely including  The Photographers' Gallery in London, The National Portrait Gallery, London, Tate Modern, and the Hayward."

He has been described as the George Orwell of Photography and his work as a social documentary photographer has been much acclaimed.  Katharine Viner writing in The Sunday Times about his work from the "Grafters Series " writes "They look like something described by Orwell in one of his political essays, like photographs from the 1930s to illustrate "The Road to Wigan Pier" cloth caps and granite faced dockers" Katharine Viner -Sunday Times Magazine 13th October 1996

The Exhibition is touring to Bermondsey Project Space, 183-185 Bermondsey Street London SE1 3UW 0203 441 5152 from 9th July - 13th July.

Preview 6-9 pm 9th July


This exhibition celebrates his early career, it also coincides with the launch of his website, which has been in the making for the past two years. We have really only just scratched the surface of his incredible archive and the process will be continuing over the next few months as we unearth more work.

Colin Jones prints all his own black-and-white images from negatives in the darkroom at his home, as silver gelatin prints. Prices are £600 for a 16 x 12" silver gelatin print and £1000 for a 20 x16" silver gelatin print.



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For press images or interviews please contact Lucy Bell.

01424 434 828