David Bailey

Lewis Merthyr Colliery, Trehafod, from The Valleys Project, 1985 (c) David Bailey
Lewis Merthyr Colliery, Trehafod, from The Valleys Project, 1985 (c) David Bailey

David Bailey CBE (born 2 January 1938) is one of the most famous living British photographers. Born in East London, he became a photographic assistant at the John French studio, then photographer for John Cole’s Studio Five before being contracted as a fashion photographer for British Vogue magazine in 1960. Bailey captured and helped create the ‘Swinging London‘ of the 1960s.

When commissioned to work on Ffotogallery’s The Valleys Project in 1985, Bailey made his own visual responses to this particular environment. Making reference to the past and utilising austere printing methods, Bailey sought to load his subject matter with a dark narrative alluding to the area’s history.