Life: A Retrospective By Ian Beesley

Life is the first ever career retrospective of internationally acclaimed photographer, Ian Beesley. Born in Bradford, Yorkshire, a northern England city that played a major role in the Industrial Revolution, Ian has a vast archive of photographs created during a career spanning over 45 years.

Ian first found work at Esholt sewage works, where colleagues urged him to find a passion and engage in education. With their help, he found photography. He headed first for Bradford College of Art, then Bournemouth and Poole College of Art. On graduation, he won the Kodak scholarship for social documentation. Thus began a lifelong study of the North’s cultural and industrial heritage.

Beesley’s early output was created walking the streets, capturing an industrial society that is now extinct: kids playing outside, ladies talking between tightly terraced streets, grafters working at full pelt within vast Victorian factories. He soon started documenting the brutal closure of core heavy industries such as mining and iron and steel production. The nobility of labour and the horror of one’s skills being forcibly rendered obsolete figure largely in these works.

Bluecoat Press, 2023
h276 x w293 mm
200 Pages


Ian Beesley Life: A Retrospective Bluecoat Press 2023

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