Photographs of art students living in an era of Cool Britannia, Brit pop and New Labour

© Matthew Finn From the book School of Art, published by STANLEY/BARKER

In 1997 Cool Britannia was at its height. If you're old enough to remember, it was when Brit-pop was flooding the airwaves, a new Labour government took power, and a sense of hope that had not been felt for a generation was palpable.

British photographer Matthew Finn was 24, had recently graduated, and took a job at a School of Art in the outskirts of London. Over the coming year, he photographed the students and the school itself.

"It was the last decade before cell phones and social media, we discussed, argued and tried things out, not because we were told to but because we wanted to. Everything seemed possible," said Matthew.

A student of the time also remarked: "We were able to expand our creativity in any direction we wanted. Hot boxing the car in the car park at lunch then going into class to swirl paint around a canvas. Chain smoking, listening to Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam on loop on the communal tape to the tape deck, skateboarding in the corridors, mushrooms in the street, papier-mache boobs, tampon sculptures, I can’t imagine any other form of education being that life-changing."

Now available as a new book, Matthew Finn: School of Art, is published by STANLEY/BARKER. You can discover more about Matthew's work at mattfinn.com.

© Matthew Finn From the book School of Art, published by STANLEY/BARKER

© Matthew Finn From the book School of Art, published by STANLEY/BARKER

© Matthew Finn From the book School of Art, published by STANLEY/BARKER

© Matthew Finn From the book School of Art, published by STANLEY/BARKER

© Matthew Finn From the book School of Art, published by STANLEY/BARKER

© Matthew Finn From the book School of Art, published by STANLEY/BARKER

© Matthew Finn From the book School of Art, published by STANLEY/BARKER

© Matthew Finn From the book School of Art, published by STANLEY/BARKER

© Matthew Finn From the book School of Art, published by STANLEY/BARKER

© Matthew Finn From the book School of Art, published by STANLEY/BARKER

© Matthew Finn From the book School of Art, published by STANLEY/BARKER

© Matthew Finn From the book School of Art, published by STANLEY/BARKER

© Matthew Finn From the book School of Art, published by STANLEY/BARKER

© Matthew Finn From the book School of Art, published by STANLEY/BARKER

© Matthew Finn From the book School of Art, published by STANLEY/BARKER

© Matthew Finn From the book School of Art, published by STANLEY/BARKER

© Matthew Finn From the book School of Art, published by STANLEY/BARKER

© Matthew Finn From the book School of Art, published by STANLEY/BARKER

© Matthew Finn From the book School of Art, published by STANLEY/BARKER

© Matthew Finn From the book School of Art, published by STANLEY/BARKER