BIOGRAPHY

PRINTING

The Black House

From 1970-73, Jones spent three years documenting life in what the press derisively came to call "The Black House." The evocative images are some of Jones' most powerful and were the subject of Jones' solo Exhibition at The Photographers' Gallery in 1977. In 2006 The Black House series of photographs was published as a book of the same name by Prestel.

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CONTACT

For enquiries or photography print prices please contact the archive  using the following information.

gallery@lucy-bell.com
+44 (0)1424 434 828

For Licensing requests please email
requests@topfotos.co.uk

Vintage prints are available from Michael Hoppen Gallery gallery@michaelhoppengallery.com 020 7352 3649

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Biography

Colin Jones was born in London's East End in 1936. Growing up during the Blitz, Colin, who was dyslexic attended 13 different school before being recruited as a dancer by the Festival Ballet. He later joined the Royal Ballet, at a time when Kenneth MacMillan was embarking on some of his most controversial work. Colin has been described as " the prototype for Billy Elliot" as his life journey reads like a Hollywood movie. He toured with the Royal Ballet performing alongside Rudolf Nureyev and Dame Margot Fonteyn, and in Kenneth MacMillan's “The Invitation” with Prima Ballerina Lynn Seymour, whom he later married.

Colin bought his first camera on tour in Japan in 1953, while running an errand for Margot Fonteyn. He started photographing the ballet company, revealing the hard work and dedication required to succeed, and depicting the ballet as it had never been seen before. In 1961 while travelling from Newcastle to Sunderland, Colin spotted a group of people scouring the slag heaps for coal, and skipped his ballet class so that he could photograph them. The following year Colin left the ballet  and went to see The Observer Colour Magazine. He was commissioned to cover the burgeoning civil rights movement in Alabama, where his photographs recorded the violent police response to black protests. That was the first of a long and distinguished sequence of photo-documentary assignments, often risky, covering subjects such as Brazil's gold mines, gangs in Jamaica, prostitution in the Philippines, the boy soldiers of the Khmer Rouge, and the Cargo Cults of the New Hebrides who worshipped Prince Phillip. Moving on from the Observer to the Sunday Times Magazine, Colin was working at the heyday of investigative photo-journalism, alongside photographers such as Don McCullin and Philip Jones Griffiths and under the editorship of Harold Evans.

Besides his overseas stories, Colin has documented British social history over the years, including the vanishing industrial working lives of the Northeast("Grafters"), marginalised Afro-Caribbean youth in London ("The Black House") and the high-octane hedonism of Swinging London in the 1960's with his defining images of The Who early in their career ("Maximum Who"). Colin's work has been published in numerous major publications  including Life and National Geographic and in magazines of  the major UK broadsheets. His work has been exhibited widely at venues that include  The Photographers' Gallery in London, The National Portrait Gallery, Tate Modern, and the Hayward.

Colin has been acclaimed for his social documentary photography winning him the accolade of "The George Orwell of Photography". In 1996, Katharine Viner wrote in The Sunday Times Magazine that Colin's "Grafters" photographs "look like something described by Orwell in one of his political essays" and his images of "cloth caps and granite faced dockers, like photographs from the 1930s", would have perfectly illustrated Orwell's "The Road to Wigan Pier".

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Press features

Past Exhibitions

Colin Jones - The George Orwell of Photgraphy - Project Art Space Bermondsey

Works from his Grafters Series

9th - 14th July 2019 Project Art Sace Bermondsey

Colin jones - The George Orwell of Photography - Lucy Bell Fine Art

Works from his Grafters Series

4th April - 15th june 2019

Beatles to Bowie - National Portrait Gallery

60s Exposed

December 2009 - January 2010

Colin Jones

Odyssey II

December 2003

Here We Are: Burberry

Celebrating British Photography

18 September - 1st October 2017

Colin Jones - 50 Years of The Who

Photoaumnales - Beauvais France

20 September - 16 November 2014

History Is Now: Hayward

7 Artists Take On Britain

2015

Made You Look: Dandyism & Black Masculinity

Photographers Gallery

July - September 2016

Tate Modern London

The Black House, London 571 Holloway Road 1973

2016

Beetles+Huxley

An Ideal For Living (Joint exhibition)

27th July – 17th Sept 2016

The Photographers Gallery

Made You Look (Joint Exhibition)

15th July – 25th Sept 2016

Michael Hoppen Gallery

Retrospective

5th May – 1st June 2016

Lucy Bell Gallery

On Ballet

8th July – 8th Aug 2015

Proud Chelsea

A Life With The Royal Ballet

29th Jan – 1st Mar 2015

Proud Camden

50 Years of The Who

6th Feb – 23rd Mar 2014

James Hyman Gallery

Country Matters (Joint Exhibition)

Sept – Nov 2013

Michael Hoppen Gallery

Jerusalem

7th Oct – 12th Nov 2011

Topfoto gallery

The Glory of English Ballet

18th July – 26th Aug 2011

Proud Central

The Who: In the Beginning

24th Sept – 15th Nov 2009

Hoopers Gallery

Classic Dance

October 2008

Michael Hoppen Gallery

The Black House

1st June – 1st July 2007

Britart Gallery

Stars of the East (Joint Exhibition)

1st – 31st Dec 2002

The Photographers Gallery

The Black House

4 May – 4 June 1977

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Printing

Professor Colin Jones uses traditional darkroom techniques and prints all his own black-and-white images from his darkroom at home.

Silver Gelatin 

The traditional process for producing black and white prints is a wet chemical process whereby exposing a piece of paper coated with silver nitrate held together in a gelatin layer to light via a black and white negative film producing a print. 

The paper is negative and the film is also negative with two negatives producing a positive image on the paper.Prints produced this way are termed silver gelatin and are most sort after by serious collectors. 

No two prints are exactly alike as this is an organic process and each print will be affected by the depletion of the developer, chemical temperature and processing time furthermore if the printer adds or removes light by what is called ‘dodging or burning in’ then this too will produce slightly different effects on each print.

Silver Gelatin
The traditional process for producing black and white prints is a wet chemical process whereby exposing a piece of paper coated with silver nitrate held together in a gelatin layer to light via a black and white negative film producing a print.

The paper is negative and the film is also negative with two negatives producing a positive image on the paper.


Prints produced this way are termed silver gelatin and are most sort after by serious collectors.

No two prints are exactly alike as this is an organic process and each print will be affected by the depletion of the developer, chemical temperature and processing time furthermore if the printer adds or removes light by what is called ‘dodging or burning in’ then this too will produce slightly different effects on each print.