This week we attended the preview of the new Centre for British Photography on Jermyn Street, in the centre of London. It is an exciting new development and one that feels right for photography now, celebrating and documenting the past while also making a determined effort to invest in and be a part of its future.
The gallery itself is an impressive space: three airy floors with a galleried area, offering plenty of room for large exhibitions; smaller spaces are ideal for smaller, more focused collections. There is an archive, study centre and shop with prints and books for sale. Events and talks alongside exhibitions are planned too. All in all, the Centre for British Photography aims to be a vibrant and creative space.
The Founding Director James Hyman, along with his wife Claire, have been involved in the art and photography world for many years and wanted to create a space dedicated to photography – in the real world not just online. They will exhibit works by some of the biggest names in British photography over the years; looking forward, collaborations with universities and colleges ensure that work by tomorrow’s photographers are given a platform.
The opening show offers a mix of exhibitions, with the major one in the entrance area given over to Fast Forward’s Headstrong: Women and Empowerment. Fast Forward is run from the University of the Creative Arts by the curator of the show, Anna Fox. Another area is dedicated to The English at Home which shows a selection of 20th century domestic photography from the Hyman Collection.
Smaller “In Focus” collections are dotted around. One of them shows a selection of work by Shirley Baker. Called ‘Street Life’, the images show children at play, out on the streets of Manchester in the 1960s.
The Centre for British Photography is minutes from Green Park tube station and the exhibitions are free to visit. The Centre for British Photography