Customs, rituals and traditions have always been fertile subject areas for photographers. We are delighted to present an evening of talks from three photographers who each explore these areas in a different way, with the opportunity for questions and discussion.


Homer Sykes, Iain McKell and Tereza Buskova join us at The International Anthony Burgess Foundation to present their photographic projects each exploring customs, rituals and traditions.

In three separate talks, the artists discuss their individual approach to this unusual theme and talk more generally about their work and practice.

Homer Sykes presents his seminal book Once a Year, Some Traditional British Customs, which Simon Costin calls 'his unique document recording many of Britain’s most enduring seasonal customs and events, in all their uncanny yet prosaic glory' and Peter Hamilton refers to as 'the best study of English folklore and ritual'. Once a Year, Some Traditional British Customs was first published in 1977, and has recently been re-published by Dewi Lewis Publishing.

Iain McKell talks about Re-Psycho, his project exploring post-feminist commune girls who live in a warehouse in Tottenham, North London, and Tereza Buskova presents Clipping the Church, her exploration into 'clipping', a forgotten English tradition where community members undertake a performance to bless a church, school, village or field. 

Homer Sykes
Homer Sykes is a professional magazine and documentary photographer. His book Once a Year, Some Traditional British Customs was first published in 1977 and was recently re-published by Dewi Lewis Publishing with over 50 additional images.

During the 1970s to 1990s, his principal commissions in Britain were for what used to be called the 'weekend colour supplements' such as The Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The Observer, You and the Sunday Express magazines. He has also covered weekly news for Newsweek, Time, and the former Now! magazine, covering conflicts in Israel, Lebanon, and Northern Ireland, as well as general news in the UK. Homer is the author, and co-author-photographer of nine books about Britain as well as Shanghai Odyssey (Dewi Lewis Publishing) and On the Road Again (Mansion Editions). More recently Café Royal Books have published 18 zines of his work; other CRBs are in the pipeline. As an award-winning photographer he has never been busier, managing his extensive archive, and planning new publications, as well as shooting new material for his archive.

Homer's work is owned by many private collectors and national collections.  In 2014 he was the first British photographer to have a one-man exhibition at La Maison de la Photographic Robert Doisneau in Paris; a mini-retrospective Homer Sykes, England 1970-1980. His vintage prints are represented by the James Hyman Gallery London.

Iain McKell
Iain McKell is a London based photographer who having studied graphic design at Exeter College of Art and Design, at 22 decided to leave his job and become a full-time photographer. His first project dates back to 1975 in Weymouth documenting his own life and the environment he grew up in including family, friends, girl friends, people who worked or lived in Weymouth and holiday makers.

McKell has been photographing subcultures since the 1980s, and has since documented various other counter cultures, including Psychedelic Trance in Thailand, Fetish, Druids/Pagans, winter night carnivals in Somerset, London Dandies and American Rockabilly. He has also spent over ten years befriending and photographing a group of New Age Gypsies. The result of this project was the publication of a book and various exhibitions in New York, London, Paris and Milan. Over the years Iain McKell has been known for collaborating with artists such as Boy George, Madonna and Kate Moss and with equally prestigious brands and advertising companies. In 1985 The Photographer’s Gallery invited him to present his one man show exhibition titled LIVE! 85

The Dark Side of Pink: Re-Psycho Re-Punk features Iain McKell’s earliest work from Weymouth and his latest project Re-Psycho, tracing an evolution of subculture in Britain from the 1970s until today.

Tereza Buskova
Tereza Buskova (b.1978, Prague) is a Czech artist who lives in Birmingham with her young family. She completed her Fine Art Printmaking MA at the Royal College of Art in 2007. Since her graduation from the RCA Buskova has been exhibited by David Roberts (Rituals, 2008), Anita Zabludowicz (A Tradition I Do Not Mean To Break, 2009), the Newlyn Art Gallery (Rituals Are Tellers Of Us, 2013) and  the Whitechapel Gallery (Reality Czech: the Czech Avant-Garde, 2015). She has exhibited, performed and lectured in a broad range of different spaces including Lincoln's Chambers Farm Wood 2010, Kunstnernes Hus Oslo 2014 and Erdington High Street 2016.

This event starts at 18:30 until 20:30 on 3rd November 2016. Doors open at 18:00.

This event takes place at The International Anthony Burgess Foundation, 3 Cambridge Street, M1 5BY. The venue is fully accessible. 

Please book your ticket using the links below. You need to be signed in to do so. Tickets are £12.50. Redeye members £7.50, concession tickets £10.00.

Who is it for?
This event is open to all. It is suitable for anyone who is interested in social documentary, unusual subjects or working in communities. It's perfect for photographers or artists looking to get an insight into different projects, or those who are interested in the medium and are looking for some visual inspiration! 

Image: Homer Sykes

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