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Nick Hedges photographs From the Shelter Archives.

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1 Nick Hedges photographs From the Shelter Archives

2 Between 1968 and 1972 Nick Hedges made a series of photographs for the national housing charity 'Shelter'. Launched in December 1966 (the same month as Ken Loach's influential television drama 'Cathy Come Home') the charity highlighted the plight of people living in poor housing and exploded the myth that only people living on the streets were homeless. The charity produced reports, advertising campaigns and posters to increase public awareness of the housing crisis. Nick Hedges' photographs were central to this campaign. He photographed slum housing in several major cities, including Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Bradford and London. His photographs document the terrible conditions that faced up to three million people at this time in Britain. Many of his photographs feature children and show an alternative kind of childhood experience. BA&H: MS 2399, 'Two Girls', Notting Hill, London, 1971 ©Nick Hedges

3 The Nick Hedges collection includes 1,000 images taken when he was commissioned by Shelter to document the poor housing conditions suffered by many in this country in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Hedges travelled all over the country, visiting London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Sheffield, Glasgow and other major cities, contrasting the conditions he found there with those living in the countryside. The photographs include images of many immigrant communities including, for example, tenements in London funded by the Rothschild family to house Jews fleeing Eastern European persecution in the early 20th century.


5 Shelter, in its formative years, was producing reports on homelessness and bad housing in Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester and Birmingham.


7 Nick Hedges was born in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, 1943. He studied photography at Birmingham College of Art 1965-1968, and worked with Birmingham Housing Trust on an exhibition about the city’s badly housed. He subsequently worked for Shelter, the National Campaign for the Homeless in London from 1968-1972 as a photographer and researcher, producing exhibitions and publications. He returned to the Midlands to complete a 2 year photographic documentation of factory work. This study was exhibited widely, and published as the book ‘Born to Work’ in 1982. He completed a documentation of the Fishing Industry in the North East for the Side Gallery in Newcastle, which was exhibited and published by the Gallery. He was appointed as subject leader in Photography at the University of Wolverhampton in 1988 until 2002. He is currently working on a project called ‘Conurbation’ with the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies at Birmingham University.



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