5 July - 31 August, 2013
James Barnor's archive of street and studio portraiture covers a remarkable period in history, bridging continents and photographic genres as it creates a transatlantic narrative marked by his passionate interest in people and cultures.
After Harvard University in Boston, the National Gallery in Cape Town and Rivington Place in London, Ever Young: James Barnor is touring to Impressions Gallery in Bradford. Barnor documents societies in transition: Ghana moving towardsits independence, and London becoming a multicultural metropolis during the ‘swinging 60s’. His extensive portfolio of street and studio portraiture spans over 60 years and different continents, many commissioned by Drum magazine, Africa’s first Black politics and lifestyle publication.
In the early 1950s, Barnor’s photographic studio Ever Young was visited by civil servants and dignitaries, performance artists and newly-weds. During this period, he captured intimate moments of luminaries such as Kwame Nkrumah as he pushed for pan-African unity, and commonwealth boxing champion Roy Ankrah. In 1960s London, he photographed Mohammad Ali preparing for a fight at London’s Earl’s Court and BBC Africa Service reporter Mike Eghan at Piccadilly Circus.
This exhibition emerges as a direct result of archival research supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2009-10, and features new prints made from Barnor’s original, digitally preserved negatives, as well as vintage photographs from the late 1940s to early 1970s. An expanded display of original ephemera including magazine clippings, record covers, personal photographs and letters has been specially selected for Impressions Gallery.