Monday, 15 March 2010

Shaped by War - Don McCullin

On Sunday 14th March I went to the Imperial War Museum to see the Don McCullin photography exhibition 'Shaped by War.'

Imperial War Museum North presents the largest ever UK exhibition about the life and work of Don McCullin, one of the world’s most acclaimed photographers, to mark his 75th year. Many items are on public display for the very first time.

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.

A unique collaboration between McCullin and the Imperial War Museum, this major new exhibition 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.

Don McCullin said he used black and white photography for more impact. I found his work extremely moving and had to continue to remind myself that the images were real and that he was there in the moment. Some of his photos were so powerful and emotional, they just consumed you and you felt like they were speaking to you. Reading the short blurb beside each photo really gave the pictures meaning and you could then identify with the people in the photograph.

Below are some photographs which I cannot forget.

A mother and daughter
This photograph was taken in Africa of a mother and her two children. The mother died and years later Don returned to Africa and gave the boys this photograph. This was the only time he ever did this. The boys were happy to have a photograph of their mother. Don did not enjoy this moment.

A solider in shock

A wife grieving for her dead husband.

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