Sunday, 21 March 2010

Shaped by War: Photographs by Don McCullin exhibition

Last weekend I visited the Imperial War Museum North in Salford Quays, to see the exhibition on Don McCullin, one of the worlds most commended photographers. This exhibition was showing his photography of numerous wars e.g Veitnam, Ireland, Cyprus, Congo, Kenya etc.. it contains over 200 photographs, objects, magazines and personal memorabilia, and shows how war has shaped the life of this exceptional British photographer and those across the globe over the last half-century.

For more than 50 years, McCullin’s images have shaped our awareness of modern conflict and its consequences. His courage and integrity, as well as the exceptional quality of his work, are a continuing inspiration and influence worldwide.

The exhibition was arranged in five sections: the early years, discovering photojournalism, the Sunday Times Magazine, changing times and a new direction.

The images were all so striking and vivid, I was taken aback by some of the heartbreaking photographs and admired his determination throughout all this conflict and hostile surroundings.

"Photography for me is not looking, it's feeling. If you can't feel what you're looking at, then you're never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures."

He was so passionate about his photojournalism and threw himself into every war-zone with no fear and courage.

In Vietnam, Don McCullin lived among the American soldiers, many of whom, he says, thought him mad. "They kept offering me guns for my protection and, to their utter astonishment, I kept refusing. A gun has no place in a ­photographer's kit. You are there as an objective observer."

I would highly recommend going to see this exhibition, unfortunately we were not aloud cameras in this showcase, but really his photographs truly do need to be seen in all their glory. He develops all his own work himself and is very meticulous with designs.

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