Derek Ridgers

It’s good to see one of my old friends – I first met Derek Ridgers almost 40 years ago – getting the exposure he deserves. I knew his work was good when I first saw it back then, and his work was included in a number of group shows we organised together – though none are listed in his Wikipedia entry.

Derek also designed posters for several of them, including a 1984 show at the Orleans House Gallery in 1984 by ‘Group Six‘, led by Terry King, which included the logo he designed for the group:

It was a rather better poster than those I cobbled together for some later of our group shows in which also took part,though the printer I took his artwork to complained bitterly about the large area of black which used too much ink.

Unfortunately we soon had to change the name after some fairly bitter moments that led to us leaving the photographic society we had been a rebellious part of and forming a totally separate group. Among our complaints was the society stealing an exhibition opportunity we had organised with a gallery on the basis of our group’s work to use for an exhibition by the whole society. Among theirs were the acerbic comments that Derek, myself and others made about  club photography.

So we became Framework:

which wasn’t really a logo at all (and apologies for the poor reproduction in a scan from one of the posters which I printed on dot-matrix for a later exhibition – which also included Derek. Among the various shows was

city news urban blues…

in 1988 at the Orleans House Gallery, Twickenham, which you can read more about here in an unfinished web site I began to write about the group some years ago.

Derek’s contribution was:


Photographs of a few of the hundreds of people who are permanently living in cardboard bases now throughout London.

1987 was designated as the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless. All proceeds from the sales of these pictures are to be donated to Shelter.

The New York Times a few days ago published a gallery of 17 pictures from Derek Ridgers’s latest book ‘The Others‘ along with an article Getting Hot and Heavy in the 1980s. You can read an interview with David Owen of IDEA who published it, and a brief review here.

Another book by Ridgers, The Dark Carnival is also published this month and is described as “a darkly fascinating celebration stretching across five decades of London Nightlife’s exuberance and self-expression.”

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