Harrison, Judy. (4 of 4). Oral History of British Photography.
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Harrison, Judy, 1953- (speaker, female)
Read, Shirley (speaker, female)
Part 4: Comments on how working with Format shaped JH’s work, doing projects and her focus on editorial and documentary work in the 1980s and 1990s, occasional problems with the editorial use of the photographs with an example from a Shelter campaign on homelessness, JH’s response of querying her responsibility to her subjects and to wonder if control of the way photographs are used is possible. [00:08:01] Comments on what can’t be photographed, photographing the dead, listening to Don McCullin, the impact of photographs from Vietnam. [00:16:03] On remaining with Format till it closed then joining Photofusion picture library but having turned away from editorial work, being a full time lecturer at the University of Portsmouth. [00:18:40] Comment that she is writing more and that this started with a staff exhibition which she wrote a booklet for, description of this and the work she did on it, her pleasure in doing something which wasn’t photography, very visual text, the objects she used. [00:29:07] Description of how JH started to teach apprentices on day release, part time on a Foundation course then on the BA, her pleasure in teaching and the exchange, comments about the way teaching has changed since she started, the importance of critical theory, that there’s a wider range of related jobs and the absence of good writing about digital theory. [00:43:51] the use of both analogue and digital at Portsmouth, JH’s dislike of digital despite its usefulness for some things and awareness that the darkroom represented another stage of thinking about the image, her concern that people no longer really look, preference for analogue particularly with landscape but that she hasn’t really used digital and that the students do both. [00:51:39] Comments on the changes in the photography course, the changes made because students have to pay and in their attitude, the difference between getting an education and getting a job, that students have to work to pay for their education, students from the area around Portsmouth and the excellent students from Eastern Europe. [01:01:01] Reflections on the way JH works, her preference for long term projects, falling into them, letting things happen, taking photographs near Leek and revisiting her earlier project in that area, her interest in doing work on her home town of Stoke which she loves and which has been neglected, her anger at this and at the de-skilling of the pottery industry. [01:09:45] Reflections on JH’s marriage to a Sikh from the Punjab and Gravesend, the difficulties of mixed race marriages, their families’ attitudes and how they changed over time, her husband’s difficulty in arriving in England and going to school when he couldn’t speak English and wore a turban, racist attacks, his family’s lack of knowledge about JH’s work, that she enjoys going to temple and a description of the food culture, the close Bhatra Sikh community which looks after its members, bringing up two sons and their closeness to their Sikh roots, the racism they experience and the problems they have travelling as a family, that JH still enjoys football but Asians who enjoy it often don’t go to matches because of the racism of football supporters.
Life story interview with photographer Judy Harrison, 1953- (copyright Judy Harrison)