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NEWS: Brian Griffin ‘Black Country Dada’ Book Kickstarter Campaign

October 23, 2020

We have only recently become aware of the Kickstarter but it still has a week or so left, there’s still time to back!

Renowned photographer Brian Griffin has launched a Kickstarter to publish his autobiography ‘Black Country Dada’, a journey of “What it was like to survive and make one’s way as a photographer in Britain back then” (the 70’s).

Griffin’s autobiography captures the essence of his burgeoning career from the very start in the ’70s having moved from his birthplace of Birmingham to study photography at Manchester’s polytechnic till its fever pitch at the end of the ’80s where he had reached worldwide acclaim for his photography. Featuring highlights of his career like ‘Work’ a solo exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in 1989. Griffin wants Black Country Dada to be unembellished, a true timeline of his career “warts and all”

An earlier image by Griffin but his eye for excellent shots no less apparent (Museum Of Cosmonautics Moscow 1974.)

Rocket Man Dungeness England 1979

“Black Country DADA is self-published and has been edited and designed by Cafeteria, a design agency based in Sheffield. The autobiography will be a hardback book, measuring 255mm x 200mm and will be approx. 216 pages in length.

The book design will begin immediately after my Kickstarter campaign is successful, followed by its printing. Printers have been contacted and are ready to print the book. I intend to despatch all the books in February 2021.”

His image was selected as the cover for Life magazine’s ‘The World’s best photographs 1980-1990’

With such a short time until the end of the campaign, I just managed to ask Brian a few questions  about the book and his career:

J: You describe the book being “warts and all” What led you to angle the book in such a way?

BG: Being a photographer in the 70’s and ’80’s was a crazy time, that bears comparison to being a photographer today.So the expression ‘ Warts and All’ describes the book perfectly as at times my life as a photographer in the early part of my career were desperate, difficult,crazy and full of bravado and craziness.”

J: Undoubtedly you have had a long and varied list of clients and interesting subject matters over your tenure, what do you feel was the one that got away? something you wished you had photographed but never got the chance?

BG: Royal Family and Joy Division.

J: Thinking back to the start of your career was there an exact moment you recognized you had broken through into the professional world?

BG: April 1973 when I took the photograph of ‘Rush Hour London Bridge. My photograph of George Cooper Managing Director of Thames Television 1976 &  ‘A Broken Frame’ album cover for Depeche Mode was a landmark in the early ’80’s.

If this look like something you’d enjoy supporting, take a look at the Kickstarter here – I think it’s an excellent retrospective of Brian Griffin’s career and something to truly be enjoyed as a physical artifact.

There are smaller options to back the project like £15 to receive either Echo and the Bunnymen or Depeche Mode postcards  if you aren’t able to part with £35 to secure yourself a copy of the book  (a price I think is very reasonable for a 200-page book!)

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