As a street photographer, I have been photographing the madness of Britain in a informal way for years, however, I did not acknowledge this common theme formally until 2016. The result of the Brexit referendum signalled to me that Britain was about to change, I responded photographically to these turbulent times. Why would Britain vote to exchange its liberal European past for a survival of the fittest ”Wild West” culture?
The State Of Britain series uses scenes from everyday life to give visual insights into British identity, aspirations and political confusion!
Is Britain’s rejection of The European ethos connected to a subconscious adoption of “The American Dream” ?
Austerity has created a country that is divided socially, economically and geographically, those in the North of England, Scotland And Wales feel forgotten , as the affluent middle class in South East England appear to enjoy disproportionate benefits of Tory government policies . Britain is more unequal today than ever before, homelessness, rough sleeping and food-bank use has reached record levels.
Desperate for change the people of the UK voted to unravel themselves from the European Super State, At the same time a swing to right wing politics in the U.S echoed the rise of populism globally! A breakdown of political trust is growing, as people feel unrepresented by current models of “democracy” , a Hollywood happy ending appears unlikely!
This important series of photographs is created against a background of politically driven nationalism & austerity, it represents a uncertain period in British history.
David Barrett is a formally educated photographer who grew up alongside a skyline of shipbuilding cranes in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, his work is influenced by the British social documentary tradition to which he was exposed during his teenage years through exhibitions at the city's renowned Side Gallery. Local practitioners of this time such as Sirkka-Lissa Konttinen, Chris Killip & Jimmy Forsyth helped him see how his everyday environment looked when photographed.
David's recent work consists of self-directed projects that are characterised by social awareness, strong design skills and a acute visual wit. !
With social media currently saturated with “me too” street photography, David's work shows that there is plenty of scope for innovative socially aware contemporary street photography.. ..
The State Of Britain series is still in progress and is awaiting the final chapters of this story to reveal themselves?
More than One hundred pictures make up this series to date, they are candid personal reflections and interpretations of my life during the Brexit years.
More of David Barrett's work may be found online at: