Forest of Dean & Wye Valley

Shaped by War: Photographs by Don McCullin

In Editorial on October 21, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Victoria Art Gallery, by Pulteney Bridge, Bath, 11 September to 21 November 2010

‘Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.’

Don McCullin in Sleeping with Ghosts


Don McCullin, who shortly celebrates his 75th birthday, is one of the world’s most acclaimed photographers. For 50 years his photographs have shaped our awareness of modern conflict and its consequences. As a photojournalist working for The Observer and Sunday Times, he covered most of the major conflicts across the world during the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s, from Cyprus and Biafra to Vietnam and the Middle East. But he loathes being described as a war photographer, much preferring to be designated simply as a ‘photographer’, albeit one shaped by the terrible events he has witnessed, many of which continue to haunt him to this day.

McCullin’s work continues to be influenced by his experiences. He photographs the landscapes around his Somerset home, but only in winter; in 2000 and 2004 he documented the Aids epidemic in Africa for Christian Aid;  and last year he completed a project photographing the boundaries of the Roman Empire.

Shaped by War explores McCullin’s story and sets his work in context. As well as including 110 of his hand-printed photographs covering the whole of his 50-year career, the show also features personal memorabilia that have not been seen before. These include the US army helmet and boots he wore in Vietnam, the expulsion order banning him from working in Idi Amin’s Uganda, and A Nikon F3 camera that took a bullet in Cambodia, thus saving McCullin’s life.

The exhibition is free to everybody and there are also free audioguides providing a personal tour of the exhibition from Don McCullin.

A major book accompanies the show and can be purchased from the Gallery (£25 plus p&p).

www.victoriagal.org.uk

All images (c) Don McCullin, courtesy of the Victoria Gallery

{this article constitutes a press release of the exhibition – watch out for a future WEB ONLY Clarion article on Don McCullin}

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