A year in the life of photographer Chris Steele-Perkins, and a vast departure from his usual striking images of Africa and Afghanistan: now he gives us misting glimpses of 2001, from the Surrey hills to New York; shots of family, home and his life that year.
The echo has a nostalgie de la boue that history cannot convey; Proust was a master of the reverberating sounds of the past, ill-defined and resonant. Chris Steele-Perkins has selected here, from the fragments of a working photographer's life and the archive of a single year - 2001, and the new millennium - images that unashamedly evoke his memories of that year, sentimental, odd, striking and intensely personal.
Photographers create in an instant an image that is indelible - until the print fades. Memory, wilful and indiscriminate, cannot compete. But in Echoes Chris Steele-Perkins has somehow combined the two by selecting images he created throughout a single year that recall his misting glimpses of 2001. They are not his normal milieu, the stunning images of Africa and further abroad for which he is renowned. They are something new.
Here are the Surrey hills, New York, Japan, family, Africa, home, solipsistic aide-memoires arranged in a chronology that combine to make, for him, a Pandora's box of his recollections of that year. No matter that they are at once intimate and unengaged. After all, photographers are human beings with the flickering sight of a raptor's eye, scanning the horizon and the nest.