“None of the people I met wanted to move, they were happy there,” says Bill Stephenson, who photographed the last residents of Hyde Park Flats, Sheffield before it was demolished 30 years ago. “The tenants felt like they were being pushed around, they didn’t know where they were going. They loved living in that brutalist housing, it was a special place for them.”
Set on one of Sheffield’s seven hills, the four high-rise flats were once part of Park Hill Estate, at the time the largest social housing estate of its kind in Europe. Built between 1957 and 1961, Park Hill had a deck access scheme considered revolutionary at the time, which provided walkways wide enough for small vehicles like milk cart, and earned the estate the nickname “streets in the sky”.
London-based collectors Claire and James Hyman have donated 125 photographs to the Yale Center for British Art, gifting key works by leading figures in British photographic history – including Bill Brandt, Bert Hardy, Roger Mayne, Tony Ray-Jones, Martin Parr, Chris Killip and Anna Fox – to the 44-year-old institution in New Haven in the US. It’s a move that could be interpreted as a damning indictment of UK institutions’ commitment to collecting British photography – particularly as, the last time BJP caught up with James Hyman (our May 2015 issue), he said building such collections has been “left to private individuals, and it shouldn’t have been”. In the same interview Hyman also singled out Birmingham Library and its curator of photography collections Peter James for praise – yet in the intervening time, both the photography archive and James’ job have fallen victim to funding cuts. But Hyman says the donation should be viewed in a positive light as evidence of the growing interest in British photography abroad – an interest which may spark more commitment in the UK.
Martin Parr, Bill Brandt, Karen Knorr, Shirley Baker, Brian Griffin, Daniel Meadows, Chris Steele-Perkins, Mark Power, Tom Wood, Roger Mayne, and Tony Ray-Jones are all showing work in a new exhibition hosted by Burberry during London Fashion Week (and beyond). Installed over three floors in Burberry’s new show venue – the 18th century, Grade 2-listed Old Sessions House in Clerkenwell, London – Here We Are will include over 200 images by more than 30 photographers from 18 September-01 October