Although I’ve written a few times over the years about the work of Chris Killip, the problem that I’ve always faced is that so little of his work is visible on the web. Most of his books too are out of print*, though I have several on my shelves. Although in the last few years he has become a little more visible (and his show at the Photographers’s Gallery in 2013 was one of their lamentably few highlights in recent years) he remains rather obscure compared to many other photographers. (And no, he didn’t win the prize, which went to a pair of people who had made a book using other people’s images – which wasn’t without interest, but this is supposed to be a photography prize.)

Killip,  a professor of visual and environmental studies at Harvard where he has worked since 1991,  has deliberately chosen to keep his photographs so far as possible away from the web – as his own web site clearly shows. I’m sure too that he could have done far more to make his work available in print. You can see an illustrated review of his Seacoal (apparently still available) on The Photobook,  a three pictures from our ridiculously small Arts Council Collection in the UK National Archives, and rather more in various exhibition listings and reviews.  You could also try a search using his name on Google Images, though as always not all the pictures this returns are by him.

Thanks to PetaPixel, and the short post Chris Killip, (mainly as it makes clear an excerpt from an Aperture interview with him) linking to a note in the NYRB, I’ve just been watching a short film, Skinningrove, with Killip speaking about and showing his work from this small North Yorkshire, fishing village. It’s well worth watching.

One of the pictures shows a secondary teacher with boys sketching on the beach, and Killip says that he is actually a photographer, who has to teach for a living, and names him as Ian Macdonald. You can see some of his work on Amber Online.


*The paperback edition of ‘Isle of Man’ is likely to cost you £250 or more, with the hardback being rather more.  I think ‘In Flagrante’ may cost around the same. There is also a study of ‘In Flagrante’ available from Errata Books rather more cheaply.


3 Responses to “Skinningrove”

  1. ChrisL says:

    “Here Comes Everybody” which I bought in 2008 seems to be re-printed as it is showing a 2014 date and is a reasonable £30 or so and very reasonable used. I certainly enjoyed it and, the acid test, do go back to it from time to time.

  2. Yes, a Google search on ‘here comes everybody chris killip’ come up with a couple of sponsored links – you can apparently buy it for £278.30 on eBay or £17.10 at another place. There are a few pages visible at Photo-eye: and Amazon is worth a look for those wanting to buy one of his books – starting at just over a fiver including delivery. Though I’m trying to avoid using Amazon. I thought the Irish book was his weakest.

  3. […] wrote at some length in 2014 about the lack of publications of his work; after Isle of Man in 1980 and In Flagrante  in 1988 it […]

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