Don McCullin Exhibition at Tate Britain

Sir Don McCullin, as probably the UK’s foremost war photographer, was born in 1935 and grew up in a deprived area of north London. 

The Retrospective exhibition at Tate Britain showcases some of the most impactful photographs captured over the last 60 years. It includes many of his iconic war photographs – including images from Vietnam, Northern Ireland and more recently Syria. But it also focuses on the work he did at home in England, recording scenes of poverty and working-class life in London’s East End and the industrial north, as well as meditative landscapes of his beloved Somerset, where he lives.

The exhibition runs until 6 May 2019 with a Members Private Viewing available after the gallery closes on 1 April 2019 between 18.45–21.30.

21st February 2019
The opportunity to join Don McCullin in conversation with Lionel Barber is the editor of the Financial Times and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Tate.

Visit https://www.tate.org.uk for details and booking.

McCullin says in an interview in the Tate magazine that he aims to “attempt to get as close to my subject while remaining invisible myself.” Many of the photographs of war in extremis, dying soldiers, starving Biafran mothers and babies, have the stillness of carefully thought-out portraits. 

For a man who has been so often under shelling, sniper fire and artillery, and wounded in the process, there are surprisingly few pictures of the action. Generally, we see the aftermath: the effects, the victims, the distressed, the wounded, the dying and the dead. This sets up the tension, the twinge of conscience running through the show, of deriving such beauty from such tragedy and distress.

The effect is deepened by the care with which McCullin prints all his own photographs. All are black-and-white gelatin silver prints generated in his own darkroom back home in deep, rural Somerset. The only splashes of colour are a couple of short videos. 

With over 250 photographs, all printed by McCullin himself in his own darkroom, this exhibition provides a unique opportunity to appreciate the scope and achievements of his entire career.