James Ravilious; a world in photographs

Uploaded on Thursday 9 September 2010


One of Britain’s greatest yet unknown postwar documentary photographers dedicated his art to a rural English world in steady decline.

What started as a short-term project grew into a seventeen year obsession. In that time James Ravillious took over 80,000 black and white images of all aspects of local life: landscape, farming, everyday life in the local towns and villages, and their special occasions. He also borrowed and copied over 5,000 early photographs of the same area. His pictures reveal real life as it was being lived in late 20th century rural England when the country traditions that have been handed down for hundreds of years were still part of everyday existence.

The resulting historical span, and detail, he gave to the Archive makes it probably the most intensive record of any rural area in England. This film returns to key characters photographed by James Ravilious unfolding different aspects of the man and offereing a nostalgia-free reflection on how life has changed.


Language: English

Length: 30 mins

Country: United Kingdom