This event is part of our Past Programme
Daniel Meadows takes as subject the lifestyle of the suburban family. Since 1984 he has photographed six families in a well-known London suburb. These are the people who live on the other side of the TV advertisements: the salaried well-to-do, not the spectacularly rich. He has followed their lives at home, in local politics, commuting, during ‘the school run’, at dinner parties, garden fetes and doing charitable works. He builds an intimate, yet incisive picture of what can be seen as a bastion of middle class living. However, Meadows is not presenting us with a series of stereotypes, but individuals brought together not only by geographical location but a strong sense of community. It is a portrayal which avoids flippancy yet relied on wit, especially in the accompanying texts. This treatment owes much to American photographer Bill Owens’s appraisal Suburbia published during the 1970s.
Daniel Meadows’s first book Living Like This (1975) recounted his travels in a double decker bus. Since then he has worked on many self-originated documentary and journalistic projects and also as a researcher for television. Daniel Meadows currently teaches at the School of Documentary Photography in Newport and works mainly as a film stills photographer.
Text by Alexandra Noble
This exhibition was shown at the Olivier Gallery, National Theatre, London (21 March - 30 April 1988) where it was shown to coincide with publication of book ‘Nattering In Paradise - A Word from the Suburbs’, by Daniel Meadows (Simon & Schuster, 1988).