Lovers' Rock is a series of portraits created in Lewisham, South London in 1977. At the time, photographer John Goto taught evening classes in photography and film for two years at Lewisham Youth Centre, where this series was taken.
The unselfconscious engagement of the subjects in front of the camera can be, in part, explained by their familiarity with the photographer, who was not much older than the sitters. The Series is entitled Lovers Rock after a musical sub-genre that grew out of the South London reggae scene in the mid-1970s. In 1975, the singer Louisa Mark cut the first Lovers Rock hit with ‘Caught You in a Lie’.
In Lovers’ Rock, the young Black sitters at a Lewisham youth centre show an exuberant, supportive and friendly community at odds with the prevailing media images of black youths at the time. A selection of these photographs were exhibited at Lewisham Shopping Centre last year, and a book was published by Autograph ABP in 2012.