SHIRLEY BAKER Women, Children and Loitering Men
Exhibition, The Photographers’ Gallery, London, UK, until 20 September
A rare chance to see social documentary photographer Shirley Baker’s portrait of the urban decline of late 20th century
Britain. Focusing on her depictions of the urban clearance programmes of inner city Manchester and Salford in 1961 – 1981, the work documents what she saw as the needless destruction of working class communities. Claiming never to have posed her pictures, Baker’s multi-layered images and exacting compositions imply dwelling on a scene until each element falls into place. Her visual puns, often the result of juxtaposing chance elements in her field of vision, result in a humour and everyday surrealism that would have eluded most passers-by.