Brian came to Cafeteria in September 2020 with a draft manuscript, around 300 photographs and the intention to drum up support through Kickstarter. It was all or nothing, so we threw ourselves into the challenge and have not looked back since.
Brian's original idea for the book was to tell the story of his early career and the reality of trying to make it in photography. The story would take him from his college years to running a successful studio photographing the great and the good from show business to big business.
As we got to know Brian we developed our new Black Country Dada visual language together. It's been quite a collaboration with the book taking shape and finding its form intuitively and instinctively. We stuck to the story but as Brian will attest, we questioned and pushed and shaped and polished until it felt enough. And in spite of the challenges of working remotely and through a pandemic, it's been a generous, moving and life-affirming experience.
The end result, a 220 page hard backed limited edition of 750 only.
- Cafeteria, Sheffield
Black Country DADA
1969 - 1990
I have written my autobiography ... yes, I have written it myself! A hardback book of over 200 pages, with an insightful introduction by W. M. Hunt. It tells truthfully what
it was like to survive and make ones way as a photographer in Britain back then. I tell the story through my personal experience of those tough times.
Those were those analogue days! Growing up amongst the factories of the Black Country, studying photography in Manchester alongside my friends Daniel Meadows and Martin Parr, and then filled with trepidation going down to London to make a living as a photographer in the early 1970’s.
In popular recollection, the 1970’s have gone down as the dark ages, Britain’s gloomiest period since the second world war, set between Harold Wilson’s ‘swinging sixties’ and Margaret Thatcher’s divisive eighties. What was it like to be a young photographer then?
By the end of the 1980’s my photography was known throughout the world. How did I do it? What did I go through? It's all in this book that tells the story warts and all.
- Brian Griffin