Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
The 'Authentic Moment' in British Photography
I thought we could go around the exhibition and then have lunch either at the Gallery cafe or at the Pavillion cafe
A sensational new exhibition inspired by Alan Sillitoe’s groundbreaking novel and the film adaptation directed by Karel Reisz.
First published in 1958, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning helped frame its cultural moment. It charts a year in the life of Arthur Seaton, machinist in the Raleigh cycle factory, and young urban rebel. The novel appeared at the time of a spate of accounts of urban workingclass life by academics, playwrights, novelists and documentary filmmakers.
Many were concerned with the effect of a burgeoning consumer culture; the very idea of 'community' was counter-pointed by the emergence of a new working-class affluence and individualism. The end of post-war austerity also signaled the advent of a distinct youth culture; for the first time young people - the recently branded ‘teenagers’ - defined themselves outside of their parents’ culture, and had spending power, like never before, which they used on fashion, music and entertainment.
Taking seminal moments from the book and film, this exhibition explores the depiction of these social changes in contemporary photography, focusing in particular on working-class culture in the late 50s and 60s. It highlights the various approaches taken by a generation of photographers drawn to ‘the regions’ in an attempt to capture the authenticity of ‘ordinary lives’.
The exhibition features a selection of never-before-exhibited stills from Reisz’s iconic film, much of which was shot on location in Nottingham. So-called ‘Young Meteors’, John Bulmer and Graham Finlayson, worked for feted newspapers such as The Manchester Guardian and the latest print media magazines, while Roger Mayne and Shirley Baker initiated their own briefs generating new contexts
for their photographic studies. Maurice Broomfield, an industrial photographer, diligently portrayed the nobility of factory worke