Wimbledon, 1967 by Tony Ray-Jones © Royal Photographic Society/ National Media Museum
Why I like this… Mick Jackson
It’s not always easy to remember what it was about a photograph that first grabbed you. In fact, the ones you fall for at first sight tend to be few and far between. More often it’s a process of slowly coming around to a more thoughtful appreciation – which is not, of course, a bad thing. But it’s interesting to try and differentiate between a response that comes from the head and the heart.
I remember loving this the first time I saw it. I loved the two main characters – she looks a little haughty ; he looks like a bit of a ‘gin + Jags’ type, but they seem utterly and uncompromisingly themselves.
Having studied it more closely I see how the fence and the security guard effectively funnel our attention towards the couple. And how the fact that they’re both wearing light-coloured clothes makes them stand out. I remember being thrown by the man’s clip-on sunglasses when I first encountered it. It takes a moment or two to work out what’s going on, and that pleases me.
Tony Ray-Jones was fascinated with the English class system. He took no end of photographs of the working class at the seaside. This, on the other hand, is of a quite privileged couple, at Wimbledon. The fence and the security guard locate them in an enclosure, away from the hoi polloi. I suspect that I’m meant to be a little suspicious of them but I find I have a great deal of affection for them. I imagine I’d quite enjoy their company.
Mick Jackson is a British writer from England, best known for his novel The Underground Man. The book, based on the life of William Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck, 5th Duke of Portland, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and for the 1997 Whitbread Award for best first novel. Mick was the writer in residence at the Science Museum from September 2011 - September 2012 where he explored the various stores and archives, met the Museum’s curators and ran a series of writers’ surgeries for the staff.
Next Wednesday Mick Jackson will be giving a guided tour of Only in England at Media Space.
Posted 2 months ago on Saturday, 12th October 2013