Four decades of photography
2 October ~ 7 October 2023
In this retrospective, the Coningsby Gallery Studio shows four decades of photographer Michael Bennett’s rich & varied early work.
The Family (1975, in the collection of V&A Museum), wry, intimate portrait of Bennett’s own family.
People Doing Things (1977 ~ present day): chronicles the most mundane details of everyday life.
1970’s America impressions of the the east and west coasts in evocative monochrome.
Pier Closing Time Ill-fated but later celebrated lament for neglected coastal North Wales. (1979). Forgotten for 40 years, openly loathed at the time by its commissioner, Michael Bennett’s 1979 photographic journey through North Wales has been rescued and restored. It is available as a book, now in its third edition and seventh printing.
Images from the locally-disdained project were rediscovered and included in Seaside Photographed, The Turner Contemporary’s first-ever photo exhibition, reviewed by The Observer:
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ “Michael Bennett’s black and white photographs from the late 1970s … show seasides from Llandudno to St Leonards as melancholy and austere in every season, homing in on the weather-beaten faces of solitary workers – the signalman, the kiosk girl, the caretaker lugging the barrier to a pier in dark rain at closing time. They are starkly poignant laments.”
Laura Cumming, The Observer, May 2019
Rare vintage silver prints are shown alongside new editions of digitally-restored photographs, some never seen before. Also on show will be some of Bennett’s work as an illustrator, with original artwork for The Sunday Times, Private Eye and others.
About the Photographer
Michael Bennett is a photographer & illustrator, and has worked for The Times, The Independent, The Sunday Times, The BBC and the The Financial Times. He had a long association with the satirical magazine Private Eye.
The Victoria & Albert Museum, The National Portrait Gallery and The National Museum of Wales have collections of his work.
Being There is at Coningsby Gallery, 30 Tottenham Street London W1T 4RJ from 2nd until 7th October 2023. Open Tuesday ~ Saturday, 10:00am to 5:00pm