This was a special exhibition or photographs as part
of Black History Month 2003 at The Museum of London.
Born in Jamaica, Charlie Phillips came to London in 1956 and worked as
a freelance photographer for various magazines including Harpers Bazaar,
Life and Italian Vogue. Whilst living in Notting Hill, Charlie explored
aspects of urban life in the 1960's collecting photographic images of
friends and neighbours in a time & place little understood or documented.
Through London's Eyes, is the first opportunity to view
this extraordinary pictorial documentary of a community. Pictures full
of the flavour of the location, and rich with nostalgia, but also intensely
personal portraits of people he knew: his images express their robust
and optimistic spirit in the face of hardship and prejudice.
The focus of this exhibition in London in the 1960's and 1970's where
Phillips snapped both the high life and the low life, and in so doing
evolved an eclectic and controversial archive in which international
superstars and bohemian jostle with respectable and notorious inhabitants
of the capital.
The collection was all but forgotten about when Charlie left England
to work with the Paparazzi in Italy, until it was discovered by a client,
and its importance highlighted in the mid 1990's.
"It was the Caribbean immigrants who took hold of Notting Hill,
and ironically gave it its contemporary character, its peculiar cachet.
The raffish undertow. Feel it. Its History." Mike Phillips, author,
"Notting Hill In The Sixties" - photography by Charlie Phillips.
The exhibition has been produced in association with Minority Contractors
in Europe and is part of the Museum of London's special programme for
Black History Month.