The book focuses on photographs taken between 1966 and 1969 by British photographer Ray-Jones who, driven by curiosity, travelled across the country to document British social mores and a way of life that he believed was disappearing. This small but distinctive body of photographs was part of an evolutionary shift in British photography that placed artistic vision above commercial success. In this short period of time, Ray-Jones managed to establish an individual personal style. He constructed complex images against a uniquely British background, where the spaces between things were as important as the main subject of the image.
Ray-Jones’ skills were picked up by a generation of photographers he met while living in New York in the mid-1960s. Among them were Garry Winogrand, Joel Meyerowitz and others associated with the circle of Harpers Bazaar’s legendary art director Alexey Brodovitch. Their images defined an era by using the street as a frame. Ray-Jones applied this new way of seeing to his native England and photographed it as never before.
In 2012, Martin Parr, together with curator Greg Hobson, revisited Ray-Jones’ contact lenses from this period and found some previously unpublished images.
In this volume we therefore find both the iconic images from the early days, including vintage prints from the Martin Parr Foundation collection, and some previously unseen images.