Thought to be the only woman practising street photography in Britain during the post-war era, Shirley Baker's humanist documentary work traced communities in the North West of England throughout the 1950s, '60s and into the '80s.
Baker’s passion for photography is perhaps best epitomised by her depictions of the daily life of the working class terraced streets in Salford and Manchester, which despite receiving little attention at the time, still remain important and empathetic documents of the urban clearance programmes and the resilience of communities under siege. This twenty-year period saw her evolve her ideas of documentary form and subject matter.
Speaking of the slum clearances of inner Manchester and Salford, she said: "My sympathies lay with the people who were forced to exist miserably, often for months on end, sometimes years, whilst demolition went on all around them."
Baker continuously photographed a range of humanist subjects, sparked by her amusement and curiosity of human character and behaviour, and a compassion for social injustice.
Now you can see 27 rare vintage and lifetime prints from her personal collection, including some new and unseen works, in a new exhibition, Shirley Baker: Personal Collection, at The Print Sales Gallery from 21 June until 28 July 2018.
The Shirley Baker Personal Collection is available for acquisition at The Photographers’ Gallery, London. For sales enquiries, contact its Print Sales Gallery.