In Our Own Image
… The photographers in question were: Godfrey Brown, a final year fine art (photographic) student at Sunderland Polytechnic, Dave Lewis, a photographic undergraduate at the Polytechnic of Central London, and Marc Boothe, a photographer who had exhibited at The Black-Art Gallery in 1984. One or two months later, one of London’s most prolific young black photographers, David A. Bailey, joined what, for the sake of convenience, we were called “The Black Photographers Group”. By this time we had also invited Ingrid Pollard, Suzanne Roden, and Brenda Agard to join us.
… The project had two definite objectives. The first was the credible insertion of black photography into mainstream art and photographic venues in Britain. Above all else, the presence of these black image-makers in essentially white gallery spaces had to be convincing. This has not only meant that it is we, as black photographers, who take the initiative in determining and securing venues, but also that it is we who control and execute as much of the technical and administrative work as possible. It is all tool easy to find disastrous and shambolic examples of exhibitions in which the initiative and administration have been white, and the artists black.
… Given our combination of high ideals and limited funds, progress is inevitably slow. Our first exhibition, at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, is still several months off. Nonetheless it is already an achievement to have secured six major art and photographic venues nationwide which fit our requirements for our tour, among them, the Watershed, Bristol, the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle and the Photographers’ Gallery in London. Once underway, the tour will run through to mid 1988, and, as a launch, we are planning a day long convention for black photographers, probably at the Photographers’ Gallery, coinciding with our first exhibition.
The above extracts are from “In Our Own Image", a review by Eddie Chambers about an initiative to develop a touring exhibition of work by Black British photographers, GLA [Greater London Arts] Quarterly, Issue 8, Spring 1987: 28-29