About HOMER SYKES
Homer Sykes Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homer_Sykes
BBC News Website. Quirky and perculiar .... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-38814093
British Photography The Hyman Collection http://hymanphotocollection.artlookhosting.com/artists/19131/interview/homer-sykes
Guardian newspaper Les Douches La Galerie Paris 2015 http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/sep/09/homer-sykes-my-britain-1970-80-british-photography
Homer Sykes in conversation with Peter Dench http://peterdench.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/in-conversation-with-homer-sykes.htm
Photomonitor. Sir Benjamin Stone and Homer Sykes: http://www.photomonitor.co.uk/stone_sykes/
New York Times LensBlog http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/11/03/a-whimsical-slice-of-british-life-homer-sykes/
Homer Sykes Photo Histories http://www.photohistories.com/interviews/26/homer-sykes?pg=all
Homer Sykes - British Customs and US Street Photography: http://www.visualconnections.com/blog/homer-sykes-british-customs-us-street-photography/
Homer Sykes. Luminous Lint, for Connoisseurs of Fine Photography http://www.luminous-lint.com/app/photographer/Homer__Sykes/A/
Homer Sykes. Photoworks article Strip Tease Tent Pinner Fair http://photoworks.org.uk/strip-tease-tent-charter-fair-pinner-1971/
Radio interview There Then Here Now with Mark Aitken https://www.mixcloud.com/Resonance/there-then-hear-now-26th-january-2017/
Homer Sykes PhotoShelter Blog http://blog.photoshelter.com/2012/03/my-photographic-style-the-beauty-of-a-35mm-lens-and-simple-composition/
I am a professional magazine and documentary photographer. My principal commissions in Britain during the 1970's - 1980's, 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 covered weekly news for Newsweek, Time, and the former Now! Magazine; covering conflicts in Israel, Lebanon, and Northern Ireland, as well as general news in the UK. Over the last forty-five years I have shot numerous magazine portraits of the famous and not so famous - at home, at work and at play. I have always worked on personal photographic documentary projects along side commercial magazine assignments. In the 1970's I started on what has become an on going career project documenting traditional British folklore customs. In 1977 my first book was published Once a Year, Some Traditional British Customs (Gordon Fraser). In 2016 Dewi Lewis Publishing re-published this volume with over 50 'new' images from my archive. I am the author, and co-author-photographer of nine books about Britain as well as Shanghai Odyssey (Dewi Lewis Publishing) and On the Road Again (Mansion Editions). The latter, an American project, was started in 1969, while I was at college. The photographic road trip was repeated in 1971, the work was then put away for thirty years, and in 1999 and 2001 I travelled once again by Greyhound bus criss-crossing America documenting the ‘down home’ idiosyncrasy of everyday middle America. In 2002 I set up my one-man band self-publishing concern Mansion Editions. To date Mansion Editions has published On the Road Again and Hunting with Hounds. More recently Cafe Royal Books have published 19 zines of my work.
As an award-winning photographer I have never been busier, managing my extensive archive, working on personal projects, and shooting new material.
Many private collectors and national collections own my work. For ten years I was a Visiting Lecturer at the London College of Communication (University of the Arts London) taking group and one-to-one tutorials with both MA and BA students studying Photojournalism and Documentary photography.
My vintage prints are represented by the James Hyman Gallery in London and by Francoise Morin at Les Douches La Galerie in Paris.
What People Say:-
The Photography Book by Ian Jeffrey. 2nd edition Published by Phaidon 2013. Homer Sykes 1949. The Britannia Coconut Dancers, Bacup, Lancashire 1972. Gelatin silver archival print.
"The dancers, in black, white and red, perform in Bacup, Lancashire on Easter Saturday; originally they came from the towns Royal Britannia Mill. … They appear in Once a Year (1977) Sykes’ survey of traditional British customs. Sykes introduces the British as durable activists indifferent to bad weather and at home anywhere. His pictures are in the manner of the 1940s and 1950s, where expressivness was valued and subjects lived, breathed and made their presence felt. Monochrome, abstracted and projected force. Colour, which was becoming the norm in the late 1970s was both more decorative and inert. Once a Year is wholly about a society and its culture, and is in line with the modernists surveys of the 1930s, as undertaken, for instance, by the Farm Security Administration (FSA) in the United States."
Rural Modernity, Everyday Life and Visual Culture, by Dr Rosemary Shirley. Published by Ashgate 2014. http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781472431431
"Despite working within a few years of Ray-Jones, in the same black and white format, and on occasion documenting the same events, Homer Sykes’ images have a different feel. Sykes set off on his own expedition to document the calendar customs of the UK (Mellor 2007:14), which resulted in a publication Once a Year (1977) and a touring exhibition Traditional British Calendar Customs. Sykes documented eighty one different calendar customs making dynamic images of the action paired with valuable written commentary on the history and current day practice of the events. Sykes’ images primarily centre on the performance itself. Even when preparations for the festivals are shown, the participants seem to be wholly absorbed in the task at hand, there is no distance between them and the event. Each image is full of energy and excitement. Rather than dealing in the perhaps easy absurdity of these events, Sykes’ images work to situate these customs within the everyday - the strange becomes everyday rather than the more travelled inversion of the everyday becoming strange. One striking example of this can be found in his images of The Burry Man. In this custom, carried out in South Queensferry, Lothian, a resident is dressed in a woollen suit which is then entirely covered in burrs, the effect is one of creating a hybrid of man and cactus, The Burry Man then walks the boundaries of the town, calling at all the pubs along the way. Sykes’ photographs serve to situate these events firmly with the register of the ordinary as he shows this creature seated on bar stool, drinking his whisky through a straw (figure 5.7), and walking down a cold wet tarmac road with a little kid in wellies."
Homer Sykes: England 1970- 1980. Kaunas Photography Gallery, Kaunas, Lithuania. 6 April - 6 May 2017.
My Britain, 1970 - 1980’s - Homer Sykes. Les Douches La Galerie, Paris. 5 September - 31 October 2015.
Homer Sykes: England 1970- 1980. Maison Robert Doisneau, Paris. 26 June - 12 October 2014.
Green Man and Friends 1970's: WPS Gallery, Hastings. 2009.
Shanghai Odyssey. Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool. 2003.
The English Season. The National Theatre, London. 1987.
Traditional British Calendar Customs. Side Gallery, Newcastle. 1977.
Traditional British Calendar Customs. Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol. 1977.
Recent group exhibitions:-
Creating the Countryside: Compton Verney Art Gallery, Warwickshire. March - June 2017.
The Male Gaze: The James Hyman Gallery, London. 21 May - 7 July 2014.
Country Matters: The James Hyman Gallery, London. 11 September - 11 October 2013.
Picturing Derry: Portrait of a City. The City Factory, Derry-Londonderry N.I. 2013.
Ossie Clark:The King of the Kings Road Reign Again. Proud Gallery, Chelsea London. 2013.
Photo 50. The London Art Fair. Islington. 2013.
Folklore & Photography; From Benjamin Stone to Flickr. Towner Gallery, Eastbourne. 2012.
Shanghai Odyssey; China Stories. Pimp the Timp, Volumn II, Cologne, Germany. 2012.
The Great British Public. The London Festival of Photography, London. 2012.
Mass Photography: Blackpool through the Camera. Grundy Gallery, Blackpool. 2011.
Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain. Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. 2011.
The Other Britain Revisited: The New Society Collection of Photographs, 1972 to 1982. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. 2010.
Good Bye London - Radical Art + Politics in the Seventies. Kunstverein "Neue Gesellschaft fur Bildende Kunst" Berlin, Germany. 2010.
Unpopular Culture. Grayson Perry selects works of art from the Arts Council Collection. A touring exhibition. 2008.
No Such Thing as Society. An Arts Council Collection and British Council Collection touring exhibition. 2008.
Viva: une agence de photographes: 1972-1982. Jeu De Paume. Paris, France. 2007.
How We Are: Photographing Britain. Tate Britain. London. 2007.
Early group exhibitions:-
Recontres Internationales de la Photographie. Arles, France.1976.
Young British Photographers. Photographers Gallery, London. 1975.
Four Young Photographers. Photographers Gallery, London. 1972 [with Dinah, Chris Killip, Stephen Shore.]
Personal Views 1850–1970. A British Council Touring exhibition, 1972. [with Sir Cecil Beaton, Ian Berry, Bill Brandt, George Davidson, Roger Fenton, Bert Hardy, Thurston Hopkins, David Hurn, Paul Martin, Tony Ray-Jones, George Roger, Sir Benjamin Stone, John Thomson, Patrick Ward.]
Festivals Customs and Pagents. The ICA, London. 1971. [with Sir Benjamin Stone]
For further information, commissions or copies of his books - please contact Homer directly.