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4. Two Snooker Players & Boy with Cactus

John Myers

Middle England


These portraits form part of the first major exhibition by the artist John Myers, currently on show at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham.


John Myers was a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Stourbridge College from 1969. During the 1970s he made a series of portraits of people known to him, taken in locations within walking distance of his home. Myers used a Gandolfi plate camera set on a tripod with a dark viewing cloth, prompting a sense of occasion in his subjects who are at one self-conscious and seemingly at home, pointed up as specimens of humanity yet touching and sympathetic. These are the portraits of Middle England, acclaimed at the time by international photography journals such as CAMERA and Ten:8 and exhibited in the major survey exhibition Serpentine Photography in 1973.


The exhibition at Ikon also features previously unseen work by Myers made in and around the Stourbridge area, including a series of typological studies of TV sets and a series of Boring landscapes, the latter alternatively entitled Landscapes without incident.


An illustrated catalogue with essays by Paul Lewis and Dr. Eugénie Shinkle accompanies the exhibition which is a collaborative project presented in partnership with Birmingham Archive and Library Services.


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Taken on December 10, 2011