A visit to the Chris Killip Retrospective at the Photographers’ Gallery, London

‘Brian Magor, baby Joanne Ewens, Tanya David and unidentified youth, 1982’ (photographed by Chris Killip)

I saw this exhibition thanks to an invitation from a friend. It is the most moving collection of photographs I have ever seen.

Prior to the invitation I had never heard of Chris Killip or the Photographers’ Gallery. Both were such a surprise, and so worth the trip.

Chris Killip, born in 1946 on the Isle of Man, has taken the most moving, intimate photographs of corners of society cut adrift by the pace of change. The Photographers’ Gallery has put together a retrospective, showing pictures from the different locations. Many of the images in this exhibition have been taken on the Isle of Man, in Tyneside, and on the Northumbrian coast, capturing families and individuals living lives they knew, while the world changed around them. I found each shot deeply respectful and revealing. I absolutely loved it.

From the mid-1990s, until 2017, Chris Killip was a professor emeritus in the department of visual and environmental studies at Harvard. He died in the United States in 2020.

If you get the chance to visit, the exhibition is on at the Photographers’ Gallery, until Sunday 19 February 2023.

This link is to an interview with Chris Killip. In places it is quite hard to hear, but it does have an excellent story at its heart.

Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2023

Wishing you a happy Christmas

On a mid-week day before Christmas I passed this little tree in the heart of the City of London. It was a quiet day, workers held at home by railstrikes.

The tree stood outside St Helen’s Bishopsgate. The old church (1210 according to its website) is surrounded by the towering hustle of tall, proud, concrete buildings. In this clearing at their feet the green tree, with its ‘merry Christmas’ sign, blinked cheerfully.

I hope it’s still there.

Many, many thanks for your company this year, and very best wishes for a brave and hopeful 2023!


Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas”

Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2022

Well … that was exhausting

London during UEFA Euro 2020

In case you missed it, on Sunday night England lost a game of football to Italy. The match was in Wembley, and the result so tight there was barely room to breathe.

We watched the game on television, and then, gathering our senses for Monday, we drove north, across the M25, and into the centre of London.

We had no idea what to expect. This is what we saw.

Continue reading