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Welcome to
Four Corners Archive

 

Four Corners Archive explores and documents the film and photographic heritage of Four Corners, Half Moon Photography Workshop, and Camerawork Magazine, from 1972-1987.

Four Corners and Half Moon Photography Workshop (later Camerawork) were two innovative cultural organisations, based in East London. Their early work played a major role in the development of the radical film and photographic practice characteristic of the 1970s and early 1980s.

The project brings these unique archival resources into the public realm, making this important contribution to British cultural history widely accessible for the first time.

How to use the archive

You can search our archive in different ways and even save items to your lightbox to email the link for another day.

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Download our handy user manual for further functions.

Four Corners Archive is made possible through the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.

 

 

Articles

The politics of the Half Moon Photography Workshop

Half Moon/Camerawork
Mathilde Bertrand, 2018


In May 1975, Jo Spence and Terry Dennett formed Photography Workshop in Islington, ‘an independent educational, research, publishing and resource project’ designed to examine historical and contemporary uses of photography. Spence and Dennett were critical of contemporary photographic practices, particularly the professionalization of the sector and its growth within a competitive market. To them, these developments undermined alternative conceptions of the medium, with historical roots in the Labour movement of the 1930s.

The workshop grew out of our dissatisfaction with current trends in British photography and our desire to contribute, as photographers, to social change. – Photography Workshop, 1975

For them, the ‘amateur’, or non-professional photographer could act as an agent of democratic change. They saw a need to “demystify” photography, to break its association with an expert and exclusive form of knowledge, to resist its absorption in fine arts spheres, and to preserve it as a technology accessible to all.

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Latest


Radical Archives for the Future: networks and collaboration

Friday 28 September, 2018 
15:00 - 17:30, Four Corners Gallery

How might archives of radical film and photography work together, collaborate and create future networks?  

Could a network of archival collections support future research and exhibition?  

Join us for a lively discussion into the future possibilities of radical film and photography archives. Presentations from the Four Corners & Camerawork archive and Jo Spence & Terry Dennett collection at Birkbeck, followed by drinks and a final opportunity to view the Radical Visions exhibition at Four Corners Gallery before it closes on 29 September.

 

This project is dedicated to the fond memory of Ed Barber (1949-2017), an important early member of the Half Moon Photography Workshop and Camerawork magazine, whose energy and enthusiasm helped create this project.