I’ve been away and somehow missed this piece in the Telegraph about one of my favourite and ridiculously under-rated photographers, Grace Robertson. I’ve always admired her understated and subtle work – especially Mother’s Day Off – first for Picture Post and then Life. Apparently, she was forced, for a time in such a male profession, to work under a pseudonym – Dick Muir – and I saw her work sometimes printed as a young photographer at Bert Hardy’s old darkroom in Waterloo. Wonderful, elegant pictures.
Tomorrow night (the 10th of November) the Photographers Gallery in London will host a talk by Graham Harrison who has recently unearthed work from the Hulton Archive by Bert Hardy. If you are in town, I urge you to go.
Hardy was a giant of the British documentary press tradition and is best remembered for his work for Picture Post Magazine. Born into poverty in Blackfriars he taught himself photography and was renowned for his sensitive, human images of war and everyday life.
Bert was an inspiration for me and I had the privilege to photograph him shortly before he died in 1995 upstairs in the flat above the darkroom that he’d set up near Waterloo. I had hoped to show that image here but after moving offices recently, I’ve mislaid the transparency. I will post it soon I hope. I’d also like to write more about the Bert Hardy Darkrooms and Charlie who tirelessly printed my work for more than a decade – and I will soon.
It seems that Graham, an extraordinarily talented photographer and now the creator of the Photo Histories website has found a huge number of Hardy’s unpublished images for Picture Post. Some of the very best will be shown for the first time.